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

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 The Fed still faces a monetary hangover that is entirely of its own making. Kevin Dowd, National Review, 6 May 2022 Happi still provides the social sipping experience as wine but without the hangover effect. Amber Love Bond, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Top-of-mind today for Ellis isn’t streaming competition or the pandemic hangover, but Cineplex’s 10,000 workers delivering a great cinema experience to customers. Robert Marich, Variety, 24 Apr. 2022 But the Netflix hangover is also seen as an overhang for other big entertainment and streaming stocks. J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Apr. 2022 Traylor senses that much of the public is expecting UTSA to suffer an emotional hangover, as the Roadrunners opened as a 2½-point favorite Sunday morning only to see lines flip within a few hours to favor the Hilltoppers by up to 1½ points. Greg Luca, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Nov. 2021 After waking, people can be susceptible to drowsiness and confusion, like a hangover effect. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 All that while facing a split congress and an economic hangover from the pandemic. Andrew Rosati, Bloomberg.com, 11 Mar. 2022 Maybe for some of us, too much so, and now the hangover has us in its grip. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of hangover

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of hangover was in 1894

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Dictionary Entries Near hangover

hang out one's shingle



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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hangover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangover. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hangover


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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