intoxicate

adjective
in·​tox·​i·​cate | \ in-ˈtäk-si-kət \

Definition of intoxicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intoxicate

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

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 Nine people were hurt -- including four seriously -- when a 79-year-old woman, who may have been intoxicated, crashed her car into a popular Italian restaurant in New York on Sunday night, police said. Caleb Parke, Fox News, "Woman, 79, charged with DWI after driving into an Italian restaurant, report says," 2 Oct. 2018 One scene, involving the removal of a glass case surrounding an obsidian Aztec vase, is simply intoxicating. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Museo’ Review: Cultural Theft," 13 Sep. 2018 The driver, who stopped and waited for police, showed no signs of being intoxicated, Crowson said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Woman fatally struck by car while walking on south Houston road," 29 May 2018 The advocates said officers needlessly fired at Perez-Lopez, who was intoxicated, after the city medical examiner determined that all six bullets struck him from the back and side. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "The 5 San Francisco police shootings that put the city in the spotlight," 24 May 2018 Alcohol The police responded to a call about a man in a gorilla suit who was intoxicated outside a restaurant on the 300 block of Burr Ridge Parkway at about 12:40 p.m. May 15. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Police blotter: Man allegedly used someone else's name and credit information at Willowbrook car dealership," 18 May 2018 Each victim was a white female attending Penn State who was intoxicated and walking alone when she was attacked. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Police in college town issue warning over possible serial rapist," 20 Apr. 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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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

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 \
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 \
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 \
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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