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

The man driving was subsequently found to be intoxicated. cleveland.com, "Man, 50, arrested for arranging sexual meet-up with boy, 15: Solon Police Blotter," 12 July 2019 On contact, the officer found the man to be heavily intoxicated with only minor injuries. oregonlive.com, "14-year-old crashes car into convenience store under dad’s watch: Forest Grove police log," 8 July 2019 Steven Yern was also charged with being intoxicated while carrying a firearm, police said. Sofia Saric, BostonGlobe.com, "Three arrested in Tewksbury on gun charges," 5 July 2019 The 16-year-old boy, named only as G.M.C. in the decision, was accused of raping a girl who was visibly intoxicated at a house party. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "New Jersey Judge James Troiano Wouldn't Try Accused Rapist as an Adult Because He Comes From a "Good Family"," 3 July 2019 About 30 teens attended the party, where both the girl and G.M.C. were intoxicated, prosecutors said. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "Judge said a teen from a ‘good family’ should not be tried as an adult in sexual assault," 3 July 2019 The suspect was found to be intoxicated and unable to care for himself. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of July 5," 27 June 2019 The Moon, your personal planet of health and work waxes all week, firing up your joie-de-vivre, making your energy positively intoxicating. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 9 June 2019 Earlier in the evening, police said a woman helped a female patron who was intoxicated at a bar get an Uber ride home. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Uber driver fatally shoots man in 'classic stand your ground case,' Florida sheriff says," 2 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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