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

At first, Sunny did bring up an excellent point: If, in fact, Jordyn was intoxicated, the situation is extremely more complicated, because of consent. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Host Meghan McCain Gets Heated Over Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson Drama," 27 Feb. 2019 According to court records, Maxwell was intoxicated during the incident and police could smell alcohol on his breath. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Oakland A's catcher sentenced to probation after Scottsdale gun incident," 2 July 2018 The lawsuit claims Marvin Drake III was at a Bombshells restaurant on the Gulf Freeway near Fuqua Street late Feb. 16 when a female server continued to serve him alcoholic beverages – even as he was already intoxicated, the family's attorneys say. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Family seeks $1M from Texas bar chain for allegedly over-serving Houston man before deadly crash," 29 May 2018 Most days he was noticeably intoxicated before lunch. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, "The Great American Racetrack War," 9 June 2017 Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh committed the act while she was intoxicated during a drinking game in the 1983-84 academic year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman. Judson Berger, Fox News, "Trump calls new Kavanaugh accusations ‘totally political,’ stands by nominee," 2 Oct. 2018 The trooper then interviewed Judy who allegedly acknowledged that she was intoxicated at the party, according to the affidavit. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Cheerleading Coach Accused of Seducing Student, 16, Who Gave Her 'Huge Hickies' on Her Neck," 19 June 2018 The vibe at Neiman’s is intoxicating, especially during the holiday season. Vogue, "Watch Erika Jayne’s Unexpected—And Unforgettable—Night at Neiman’s," 5 Dec. 2018 The victim told 911 operators that her boyfriend was intoxicated, armed with a handgun and breaking things inside their duplex. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Man shot dead in Spanaway by sheriff’s deputies who say he was armed, suspected of domestic violence," 21 Oct. 2018

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

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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

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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to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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