hang·over | \ˈhaŋ-ˌō-vər \

Definition of hangover 

1 : something (such as a surviving custom) that remains from what is past

2a : disagreeable physical effects following heavy consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs

b : a letdown following great excitement or excess

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Did You Know?

The effects of hangovers have been hanging around for ages. The word itself, however, has only been fermenting since the late 19th century. Originally, hangover described someone or something that remained or simply survived, but it was later distilled into common use as a word for the effects of overconsumption of alcohol or drugs. These days, hangover can also suggest an emotional letdown or an undesirable prolongation of notes or sounds from a loudspeaker.

Examples of hangover in a Sentence

She woke up with a hangover.

Recent Examples on the Web

Patriots’ Super Bowl hangover – Cracks started to surface last season amid reports of friction between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and questions about the Patriot Way have persisted in the months following the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "10 takeaways of the NFL's offseason heading into training camps," 18 June 2018 But in recent years, it has also been used as an (ineffective) cancer cure or as a general tonic - a draft of rice wine mixed with bear bile, or steeped in a bear’s paw, might stave off a hangover, some say. Author: Simon Denyer, Anchorage Daily News, "From hemorrhoids to hangovers: Bear bile is treasured in China, and that’s bad for captive bears," 3 June 2018 In a 2017 survey conduced by Penn State Student Affairs, 65.9 percent of students reported drinking enough to have had a hangover the following morning. Gloria Liu, Outside Online, "Penn State Axed Its Outdoor Club. What Happened?," 14 May 2018 In some ways, the drama at CalPERS is a hangover from last fall’s election. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "'Seemingly dysfunctional' CalPERS leaders spar over documents, access | The Sacramento Bee," 27 Apr. 2018 Most of Green’s hurt-you rep is a hangover from those attacks two seasons ago on Steven Adams’ groin. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Now, the real fight begins as Warriors face Pelicans in the second round," 25 Apr. 2018 There was little visible hangover from the latest developments in the federal investigation of corruption in college basketball. David Ginsburg, The Seattle Times, "With hoops under federal probe, fans say business as usual," 24 Feb. 2018 For all the great individual performances (like Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson), the hangover from last year is just not lifting. 28. Jeremy Fuchs, SI.com, "Power Rankings: Are We Headed Toward an Unconventional Stanley Cup Final?," 8 Jan. 2018 Knock back too many cocktails at a big holiday bash and the result is usually a nasty hangover. Janis Graham, Redbook, "Queasy? Bloated? Here's How to Cure Your Stomachache, Fast," 28 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hangover.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hangover

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for hangover

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for hangover

The first known use of hangover was in 1894

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More Definitions for hangover



English Language Learners Definition of hangover

: a sick feeling or condition that comes after drinking too much alcohol at an earlier time


hang·over | \-ˌō-vər \

Medical Definition of hangover 

: disagreeable physical effects (as headache or nausea) following heavy consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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