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

That shifting standard was evident by the varied responses to a doctored video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appear intoxicated. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Silicon Valley's congressman wants tech companies to collaborate on disinformation," 12 June 2019 Milch’s scripts got inside the frontier mentality with an intoxicating poetry. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 The event will feature live music and more than 40 exhibitors and vendors, selling everything from T-shirts to non-intoxicating holistic medicines, and offering education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Medical marijuana expo coming to Sharonville this weekend," 21 May 2019 The Missouri University Police Department said senior forward Jordan Barnett was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated early Saturday after failing to drive within a single lane. BostonGlobe.com, "UConn fires men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie," 11 Mar. 2018 Phillips said that in Florida, if someone is intoxicated and determined to be more than 50 percent at fault, their damages are reduced to zero. Julia Dahl, CBS News, "Attorney: $4 verdict meant to "punish" family of man shot by police in his garage," 1 June 2018 Police went to the Olcott address and spoke to a man who said Boksa was intoxicated earlier in the day and had begun to argue with him for an unknown reason. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Norridge police reports," 22 June 2018 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

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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