intoxicate

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

Definition of intoxicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2 : poison

intoxicate

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

Definition of intoxicate (Entry 2 of 2)

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Did You Know?

Adjective

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 couple moved from Burgundy more than a decade ago, intoxicated by the landscape and the richness of the soil. Sarah Souli, Travel + Leisure, "The Best European Wine Regions You've Never Heard Of," 25 May 2020 The officer talked to the resident, who was clearly intoxicated. John Benson, cleveland, "With bottle of vodka by bed, drunk man sets toilet paper on fire: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 6 May 2020 This founding and intoxicating discovery needed to be perpetually confirmed, repeated. New York Times, "‘The Celestial Hunter,’ by Roberto Calasso: An Excerpt," 28 Apr. 2020 Just like the book, the series follows the intoxicating romance between Marianne and Connell, two teenagers from very different backgrounds, living in a small west Ireland town. Jessica Morgan, refinery29.com, "The Trailer For Normal People Is Here & It’s Really, Really Hot," 17 Jan. 2020 Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in hemp and marijuana. NBC News, "All bark, no bite: Some CBD pet products contain 'virtually no CBD'," 7 Jan. 2020 Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in hemp and marijuana. Time, "Want to Calm Your Anxious Pet With CBD? Some Products Are All Bark and No Bite: Study," 7 Jan. 2020 When funneled over a chilled tube of coiled metal, these intoxicating cloudlets condense into tiny, high-proof drops that drip into a separate container. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: How Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant highlights quality Tequila in its margaritas," 30 Dec. 2019 There’s something intoxicating about Lampedusa’s wry prince and his decaying palaces. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Oldest Money: Inside Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Sicilian Palazzo," 10 Dec. 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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

1581, in the meaning defined above

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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Time Traveler for intoxicate

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Intoxicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intoxicate. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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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