hang·​over | \ ˈhaŋ-ˌō-vər How to pronounce hangover (audio) \

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 McCobb’s legacy, too, experienced a bit of a hangover going into the 21st century; modern design cognoscenti considered his furnishings too mass, and his name not canonical enough. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, "For the First Time in 50 Years, You’ll Be Able to Get Your Hands on Classic Paul McCobb Designs," 25 Mar. 2021 If a place could look like a hangover, Miami Beach would hit the mark. Olivia Mcauley, Rolling Stone, "How Spring Break Hit Miami Beach Like a Perfect Storm," 25 Mar. 2021 Where the Rams suffer a hangover effect against the Seahawks? oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks shut down the Los Angeles Rams to capture NFC West title: Live updates recap, score, stats and more," 27 Dec. 2020 There is a huge hangover of debt, deep uncertainty about how consumer and office-worker behavior might have changed, and many small businesses clinging on by their fingernails. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Here’s a Market Forecast: 2021 Will Be Hard to Predict," 19 Dec. 2020 This punch bowl is going to lead to quite a hangover. Jerry Bowyer, National Review, "What the Fed Really Said," 19 Mar. 2021 Less clear, however, is whether the rebound will be sustainable or give the economy a hangover. R.j. Shook, Forbes, "COVID Relief Should Spark Growth But Advisors Fear Inflation, Higher Long-Term Interest Rates," 18 Mar. 2021 The insurance problem was a hangover from GE’s one-time reliance on financial services to drive its profits. Dave Michaels And Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE to Pay $200 Million to Settle SEC Accounting Probe," 10 Dec. 2020 The Remedy Club plays at 4 p.m., before the hangover cures are needed. Gary Graff, cleveland, "Grammy Awards top this week’s virtual music hit parade," 10 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for hangover

Time Traveler

The first known use of hangover was in 1894

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Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hangover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangover. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce hangover (audio) \

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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