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 While some Hollywood stars are probably nursing hangovers thanks to all those after parties, King's injury came from a literal Golden Globe itself. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Patricia Arquette Accidentally Hit Joey King In The Head With Her Golden Globe & Yes, There Are Pics," 6 Jan. 2020 Hopes of global growth faded rapidly, with European stocks and emerging markets tumbling as the Chinese economy struggled, hurt by the hangover from last year’s clampdown on lending and by U.S. tariffs. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Markets Corrected Investor Mistakes This Year, And it Hurts," 20 Dec. 2018 Jared Goff The Rams became the fifth team in the past 10 years to miss the Super Bowl a year after appearing in the title game, but the former Cal quarterback from Novato says there was no hangover from that loss to New England in January. SFChronicle.com, "Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas gets a sweet explanation for why a fan cursed him out," 22 Dec. 2019 Whether a woman is worried about addiction or just tired of wasting a day with a hangover, Tempest intends to accompany them on their sobriety journey. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This New Sobriety School Will Change the Way You Think About Drinking," 29 May 2019 My muscles ached from the hiking and scrambling, and my head was throbbing with a ruou hangover. National Geographic, "This Vietnamese national park is a spice lover’s dream," 18 Jan. 2020 China’s population is aging more quickly than most of the world’s developed economies, a hangover from decades of family planning policies. Bloomberg, Time, "China’s Birthrate Sank to Lowest Level on Record Last Year," 17 Jan. 2020 The changes reflect a hangover from the 2016 campaign that looms over Iowa Democrats. Washington Post, "New Iowa caucus rules could spark clashing claims of victory," 16 Jan. 2020 For starters, science still doesn’t quite know what causes a hangover. Popular Science, "How (to attempt) to cure a hangover," 1 Jan. 2020

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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hangover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangover. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for hangover


How to pronounce hangover (audio)

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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