intoxicate

adjective
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ in-ˈtäk-si-kət How to pronounce intoxicate (audio) \

Definition of intoxicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intoxicate

verb
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt How to pronounce intoxicate (audio) \
intoxicated; intoxicating

Definition of intoxicate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : poison
2a : 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

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Did You Know?

Verb

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.

Examples of intoxicate in a Sentence

Verb The little bit of beer I drank was not enough to intoxicate me. the stunning spectacle of this Las Vegas show is sure to intoxicate spectators
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb June 11 Ethanol, the intoxicating alcohol found in beer, wine and liquor, has been powering automobiles in the U.S. since the era of the Model T more than a century ago. Washington Post, "How Trump (and Iowa) Changed How You Fuel Your Car," 18 Sep. 2019 At first glance, Gronkowski endorsing topical CBD — or cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabis chemical — is peak millennial marketing. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Gronk has a good point: Athletes should be allowed to use CBD," 28 Aug. 2019 Supporters of industrial hemp said changes to Senate Bill 57 will prohibit many Ohioans from planting hemp, a non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana, or making products from the plant. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio hemp legalization bill draws criticism from farmers and hemp advocates," 4 June 2019 The young Italian mathematician is tall, fit and stylish, his R’s rolling off the tongue with an intoxicating Roman richness. Quanta Magazine, "A Traveler Who Finds Stability in the Natural World," 1 Aug. 2018 Police after administering a field sobriety test determined she was intoxicated, but the suspect demanded to see body camera video and speak with a lawyer. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland.com, "Shoplifting suspect caught with suspected crack: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 18 Aug. 2019 Grijalva is facing an Ethics Committee review of allegations from a former Capitol Hill staffer that he was often intoxicated and created a hostile workplace. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "'Angel Dad' Steve Ronnebeck to make congressional run in Rep. Raul Grijalva's district," 8 Aug. 2019 Schroeder eventually got back in line but airport police had already been notified and he was given two toxicology tests, one of which showed that he was intoxicated, Hogan said. Minyvonne Burke And Jay Blackman, NBC News, "Delta Air Lines pilot arrested for allegedly being drunk before flight," 31 July 2019 Police said Ruiz was intoxicated and had ousted a family member from the apartment unit. oregonlive, "Woman who threatened Portland cops with knife -- leading one to fire his gun -- pleads guilty," 11 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of intoxicate

Adjective

1581, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intoxicate

Verb

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

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Statistics for intoxicate

Time Traveler for intoxicate

The first known use of intoxicate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for intoxicate

intoxicate

verb
How to pronounce intoxicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intoxicate

somewhat formal
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

verb
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt How to pronounce intoxicate (audio) \
intoxicated; intoxicating

Kids Definition of intoxicate

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

intoxicate

transitive verb
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ -sə-ˌkāt How to pronounce intoxicate (audio) \
intoxicated; intoxicating

Medical Definition of intoxicate

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

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intoxicate

transitive verb
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ in-ˈtäk-sə-ˌkāt How to pronounce intoxicate (audio) \
intoxicated; intoxicating

Legal Definition of intoxicate

: 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

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Comments on intoxicate

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