Definition of on (or off) the wagon in English:

on (or off) the wagon


  • Abstaining (or not abstaining) from drinking alcohol.

    ‘Monty was supposed to be on the wagon’
    • ‘He is, for now, on the wagon, having recognised he has alcohol and financial problems.’
    • ‘After his dark drinking days, O'Neil clambered on the wagon only to find his Dad determined to drag him off.’
    • ‘I usually go on the wagon for January as I am sick of booze after the excesses of December.’
    • ‘It's a great cause and I know from my own futile efforts to stay on the wagon, a great gesture from the alcohol loving Smith.’
    • ‘But in 1996, he went on the wagon and, as he puts it, ‘started reclaiming the areas of my life I had let fall.’’
    • ‘The legendary drinker said he had cut out alcohol and had Antabuse tablets inserted into his stomach to keep him on the wagon after he was warned that just one more drink could kill him.’
    • ‘I have this crazy idea in my head that 05/05/05 is going to signal another period of being on the wagon and this time without the aid of drugs.’
    • ‘Jack is an aspiring writer, three months on the wagon after his alcoholism caused family problems.’
    • ‘He has pretty much conceded that he drank too much before he turned 40, in 1986, and he has been on the wagon since.’
    • ‘And yet, he's a former alcoholic who's been on the wagon for 12 years.’
    sober, teetotal, non-drinking, clear-headed, as sober as a judge
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