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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Drunkenness \Drunk"en*ness\, n.

  1. The state of being drunken with, or as with, alcoholic liquor; intoxication; inebriety; -- used of the casual state or the habit.

    The Lacedemonians trained up their children to hate drunkenness by bringing a drunken man into their company.
    --I. Watts.

  2. Disorder of the faculties, resembling intoxication by liquors; inflammation; frenzy; rage.

    Passion is the drunkenness of the mind. -- South.

    Syn: Intoxication; inebriation; inebriety. -- Drunkenness, Intoxication, Inebriation. Drunkenness refers more to the habit; intoxication and inebriation, to specific acts. The first two words are extensively used in a figurative sense; a person is intoxicated with success, and is drunk with joy. ``This plan of empire was not taken up in the first intoxication of unexpected success.''

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English druncennysse; see drunken + -ness.


n. A state of being drunk

  1. n. a temporary state resulting from excessive consumption of alcohol [syn: inebriation, inebriety, intoxication, tipsiness] [ant: soberness]

  2. Habitual intoxication; prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol such that abrupt deprivation leads to severe withdrawal symptoms [syn: alcoholism, alcohol addiction, inebriation]

  3. the act of drinking alcoholic beverages to excess; "drink was his downfall" [syn: drink, drinking, boozing, crapulence]

Usage examples of "drunkenness".

A man must be able to hold his drink because drunkenness is sometimes necessary in this difficult life.

At a corner of the bar, on a far bench, in the half light of the lanterns, a man sat with his back against the wall, his head flopped in drunkenness as he dozed.

The bearded man, substituting drunkenness for hunger, drank so much that when he attempted to dramatise his first encounter with a white woman he staggered and fell on his chair, breaking its back.

They want to taste human things, pain, drunkenness, laughter, and sex.

The great herbalist, looking uglier than ever before because of his drunkenness, began to utter the most controversial statements.

He boasted with such ferocity, lashing out with such energy, and sweating so profusely, that his drunkenness soon left him and he had to keep going into the room to replenish his intoxication with bottles of beer.

And when morning came dull and drizzly, like an old gray widow hobbling out from the dark, her cold tears freckling the sidewalks, in all my drunkenness and disarray, I went down to Emerald Street to seek my satisfaction.

Many days I painted drunk, but drunkenness had no deleterious effect on the muralif anything, it sharpened my comprehension of what I was about.

The liquor seemed to have an immediate effect, increasing my level of drunkenness, and with it my capacity for rejection.

I was damned if I was going to throw away more than thirteen years hard work and good behaviour aboard ship, plus no drunkenness or whoring when on shore leave, to have my career ruined now by being a minute late.

But eventually the drunkenness of the screaming streets would return to them.

It was designed to keep him from being murdered in a public cell where drunkenness, fornication, starvation and every form of despair and degradation did not preclude a peculiar loyalty to the King of England.

She had been placed with prostitutes who had been caught at various crimes - thieving, drunkenness and destroying public or private property.

Arthur was determined to stamp out drunkenness within the female prison, and his orders were that any turnkey caught selling grog was to be instantly dismissed and severely punished with three hundred strokes of the lash.

If we cannot save their souls in time, Miss Abacus, all they will come to is corruption and licence, drunkenness and thieving!