1

intoxicate

adjective in·tox·i·cate \ in-ˈtäk-si-kət \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of intoxicate

archaic

First Known Use of intoxicate

1581


2

intoxicate

verb in·tox·i·cate \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt \

Definition of intoxicate

intoxicated; intoxicating
transitive verb
1 : poison
2 a : to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished
b : to excite or elate to the point of enthusiasm or frenzy

Examples of intoxicate in a Sentence

  1. The little bit of beer I drank was not enough to intoxicate me.

  2. the stunning spectacle of this Las Vegas show is sure to intoxicate spectators

Recent Examples of intoxicate from the Web

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

Did You Know?

For those who think that alcohol and drugs qualify as poisons, the history of intoxicate offers some etymological evidence to bolster your argument. Intoxicate traces back to toxicum, the Latin word for "poison" - and the earliest meaning of intoxicate was just that: "to poison." This sense is now extremely rare, and we currently talk about such harmless things as flowers and perfume having the power to intoxicate. Toxicum turns up in the etymologies of a number of other English words including toxic ("poisonous"), intoxicant ("something that intoxicates") and detoxify ("to remove a poison from"), as well as a number of the names for various poisons themselves.

Origin and Etymology of intoxicate

Middle English, from Medieval Latin intoxicatus, past participle of intoxicare, from Latin in- + toxicum poison — more at toxic


INTOXICATE Defined for English Language Learners

intoxicate

verb

Definition of intoxicate for English Language Learners

  • of alcohol, a drug, etc. : to make (someone) unable to think and behave normally

  • : to excite or please (someone) in a way that suggests the effect of alcohol or a drug


INTOXICATE Defined for Kids

intoxicate

verb in·tox·i·cate \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt \

Definition of intoxicate for Students

intoxicated; intoxicating
1 : to affect by alcohol or a drug especially so that normal thinking and acting becomes difficult or impossible : make drunk
2 : to make wildly excited or enthusiastic
  • Intoxicated as he was with the heavens, he couldn't imagine needing anything on earth.
  • —Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

Medical Dictionary

intoxicate

transitive verb in·tox·i·cate \ -sə-ˌkāt \

medical Definition of intoxicate

intoxicated; intoxicating
1 : poison
2 : to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished

Law Dictionary

intoxicate

transitive verb in·tox·i·cate \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt \

legal Definition of intoxicate

intoxicated; intoxicating
: to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished — see also driving under the influence


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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