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

Keep scrolling for more

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 vaccine eventually came, and the masks and partitions and oceans of sanitizer faded slowly like a bad hangover. Matt Goulding, The Atlantic, "Our Weird Restaurant Future," 19 June 2020 Kofi was riding a combo of marijuana and Adderall that day, trying to soothe his hangover from the night before. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Former IU football teammates, coaches are amazed by Kofi Hughes' transformation," 14 June 2020 Other reported benefits of the IV vitamin drips include burning fat, fighting jet lag, and even getting rid of a hangover, although there is very little scientific evidence to support such claims. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "Does IV Vitamin Therapy Really Work? Here Are the Pros and Cons, According to Experts," 10 June 2020 In contrast to most available sleep medications, melatonin seems not to be habit-forming and typically produces no hangover effects. Anna Goldfarb, New York Times, "Considering Trying Melatonin for Sleep? Here’s a Guide to Help," 24 Apr. 2020 The agency says shipments have now dipped below normal levels -- perhaps a hangover from consumers stocking up in mid March. oregonlive, "Oregon liquor stores see record March booze sales," 14 Apr. 2020 The Super Bowl hangover campaign in which Los Angeles went 9-7 and missed the playoffs coincided with dropoffs in production from numerous players, including Gurley and Cooks, two of the Rams’ most explosive weapons in 2018. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As Rams' retool continues with Brandin Cooks trade, Los Angeles could be in line for regression," 11 Apr. 2020 Aside from potential hangovers, skin side effects include dehydration (the lack of water, not oil, in skin), but also inflammation (hello, puffiness) and dilated blood vessels. Jillian Vieira, refinery29.com, "Could Self-Quarantine Be The Culprit Behind Your Breakouts?," 5 Apr. 2020 Fun beckoned: casual disregard for fellow people, weekday hangovers, recyclables in the trash, the environment something for someone else to worry about. Darren Franich, EW.com, "A sweet Good Place finale rescues a frustrating final season: Review," 1 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of hangover

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hangover

Time Traveler for hangover

Time Traveler

The first known use of hangover was in 1894

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about hangover

Statistics for hangover

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hangover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangover. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hangover

What made you want to look up hangover? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!