Definition of drink in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Take (a liquid) into the mouth and swallow.

    ‘we sat by the fire, drinking our coffee’
    no object ‘he drank thirstily’
    • ‘She drank her small carton of milk, which had gotten a bit warm since she had been handed it.’
    • ‘He added that his greatest concern was about how they would be able to persuade Johnny to drink liquids after his procedure.’
    • ‘I stopped to sit and drink from the fountain I remembered from years before.’
    • ‘The others wished that they hadn't drank so much coffee from the buffet table.’
    • ‘It wasn't safe to farm there or to drink the water.’
    • ‘I live in the village and we can't drink the water out of the taps.’
    • ‘He nodded wordlessly and then thirstily drank the water she offered.’
    • ‘He sighed, and tipped the glass up, drinking what was left.’
    • ‘His mother, Tracy, drank the tap water while pregnant with Thomas and she and her husband are now convinced that this was the cause of his afflictions.’
    • ‘As Miguel stood chatting to Cindy, Donella sat alone drinking a coffee when Clare came in.’
    • ‘They had drunk green tea while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.’
    • ‘We started off by drinking cocktails in a bar in Old Compton Street.’
    • ‘Melissa took it from her and drank what was left in one gulp.’
    • ‘I've been up all night drinking tea, picking through books, cooling my head.’
    • ‘For example, a study showed women drank soda faster with rapid music in the background.’
    • ‘We were celebrating Matthew's success in a SoHo restaurant at the time, and drinking cocktails in the garden.’
    • ‘I can distinctly remember wondering how anyone could bring themselves to drink this disgusting liquid.’
    • ‘She slowly drank the hot liquid and looked up occasionally at her husband.’
    • ‘I prefer to drink green tea hot and in a cup.’
    • ‘Also, remember that it is better to drink dirty water than to go without drinking water all.’
    swallow, gulp down, quaff, swill, guzzle, sup
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    1. 1.1no object Consume or be in the habit of consuming alcohol, especially to excess.
      ‘she doesn't drink or smoke’
      ‘he drank himself into a stupor’
      • ‘Most people would agree that those who drink to excess have an alcohol problem.’
      • ‘I was out drinking heavily with some friends and i collapsed outside a club.’
      • ‘She drank excessively and gave alcohol and drugs to her children, who would go for days without food.’
      • ‘The best way to prevent tragedies like this is for people to drink in moderation.’
      • ‘But one local councillor believes Government proposals for 24 hour drinking in pubs and clubs might halt any improvement.’
      • ‘They spent the evening drinking in a bar.’
      • ‘He drank and smoked far too much and obviously indulged in unhealthy eating given his large size.’
      • ‘If an alcoholic continues to drink indefinitely, the alcohol itself will destroy his liver and kill him.’
      • ‘There are two young men drinking in the local pub.’
      • ‘Ryan said he spent much of the time drinking and had consumed eight or nine pints and a number of shorts.’
      • ‘Drinking in moderation, with plenty of food, is not a bad thing.’
      • ‘Parents who drink responsibly can enjoy alcohol in moderate amounts and it does not have a bad effect on their children.’
      • ‘According to Bill, Mary was an alcoholic who drank during her pregnancies.’
      • ‘"People are out drinking a lot more than they do all year round and violence comes out of that.’
      • ‘Their father soon took to spending nights drinking out with friends more often than not.’
      • ‘Binge drinking among college students is a major public health concern.’
      • ‘We can save a small fortune by simply dropping bad habits like smoking, drinking and gambling.’
      • ‘It plans to target a core group of 15 homeless people with chronic alcohol problems who drink on the city's streets.’
      • ‘The number of young women drinking excessively on a regular basis has more than doubled in the past 10 years.’
      • ‘We now know that smokers who are in recovery from alcohol abuse can stop smoking without starting to drink again.’
      drink alcohol, take alcohol, tipple, indulge
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    2. 1.2drink upno object Consume the rest of a drink, especially in a rapid manner.
      • ‘The waiter bills you 3 CUCS, you drink up and move on.’
      • ‘We just drink up and, well, eventually, we go home.’
      • ‘Women, if you think that you're going to need one more latte to get through the day, well, drink up.’
      • ‘2: 16-3: 30 - If you haven't had to urinate within two hours of a workout, you're dehydrated, so drink up.’
      • ‘This leaves me, two businessmen who have suddenly started to drink up, the swines, and her in this corner.’
      • ‘Customers jonesiing for alcohol are directed to the neighboring Brooklyn Ale House (corner of Berry and N.8th) where they can drink up before entering Sin-é to see the shows.’
      • ‘Sometimes when he left an after-work bar outing to hurry home, his colleagues would privately breathe a sigh of relief; with him gone, they could drink up and tell off-color jokes.’
      • ‘Why have you always got two glasses in your hand - come on, drink up!’
      • ‘One of the things that fuels the increase in alcohol-related violence is people drinking up when they know they are close to closing time.’
      • ‘Overall, it's better to err on the side of hydration, so drink up!’
      • ‘In Ireland there is a tradition of having to drink up quickly before leaving the pub at closing time.’
      • ‘She says the policeman appeared at the pub at 12.10 am but the pub had stopped serving customers by midnight and people were in the process of drinking up.’
      • ‘The Landlady and Landlord are of the old school, friendly but quite strict on drinking up after the last bell.’
      • ‘We'll also be passing the hat for additional donations, so drink up and loosen your purse strings.’
      • ‘‘There will be less binge-drinking or drinking up before the bell,’ she said.’
      • ‘And the bartender said, All right, everybody drink up now because you know no ordering during the movie.’
      swallow, gulp, gulp down, guzzle, slurp, attack, down, drink down, drink up, force down, get down, finish off, polish off, drain, empty, imbibe, have, take, partake of, ingest, consume, sup, sip, lap
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    3. 1.3informal (of a plant or a porous substance) absorb (moisture).
      • ‘You may need to add more water as the beans drink it up.’
      • ‘Check the water level daily and keep topped up - the tree will drink a lot especially in a warm room.’
      • ‘The wicking action of the soil draws water into the pot as the plants drink it up.’
      • ‘The plants drink a great deal of water.’
      • ‘Container plants drink lots, and often.’
    4. 1.4no object (of wine) have a specified flavor or character when drunk.
      ‘this wine is really drinking beautifully’
      • ‘Forget those sickly vanillin cheapo riojas - this is class in a glass and drinks well now.’
      • ‘The wine drinks very well now but it could be kept in the cellar for several more years.’
      • ‘This wine should drink beautifully for at least a decade.’
      • ‘It drinks excellently with all kinds of grilled fish, especially with swordfish.’
      • ‘Crisply dry, with almost mineral overtones, this elegant Champagne is drinking well now but will cellar comfortably for 5 - 8 years.’
  • 2drink something inWatch or listen to something with eager pleasure or interest.

    ‘she strolled to the window to drink in the view’
    • ‘We tried to savour the day and drink in the atmosphere, but it all went by too quickly’
    • ‘From here one could drink in the scenery of the even higher, treeless peaks.’
    absorb, assimilate, digest, ingest, take in, be absorbed in, be immersed in, be rapt in, be lost in, be fascinated by, pay close attention to
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  • 1A liquid that can be swallowed as refreshment or nourishment.

    ‘a table covered with food and drink’
    ‘cans of soda and other drinks’
    • ‘Also available are hot and cold drinks and light refreshments at very reasonable prices.’
    • ‘In addition, children were drinking huge quantities of sugary drinks which they bought from vending machines and at convenience stores and also drank at home.’
    • ‘However, if you enjoy the taste of herbs as a garnish to your food, why not enjoy their refreshing and health-giving properties in refreshing summer drinks.’
    • ‘It is important to avoid constantly snacking on sugary foods or sipping fizzy drinks.’
    • ‘Keep your body refreshed by enjoying summer drinks such as mint juleps or raspberry iced teas.’
    • ‘On the far right corner, was a long table of refreshments, with drinks and treats for the guests.’
    • ‘Shops along Hennessy Road did a roaring trade selling water and canned drinks to thirsty crowds.’
    • ‘Cream teas, ice creams and cold drinks will be served throughout the afternoon.’
    • ‘A health-conscious public has driven sales of water and energy drinks, whose growth has been particularly strong in the past year.’
    • ‘Hot drinks and water must be available, as must first aid facilities to deal with injured persons.’
    • ‘My mother and the rest of the firemen's wives had the duty of bringing coffee and other drinks to the firemen.’
    • ‘She sipped a drink through a pink straw, occasionally glancing up at him.’
    • ‘This is an excellent spot to have a pleasant lunch or a refreshing drink.’
    • ‘But public health experts warned against drinking large quantities of sugary drinks in a bid to boost memory function.’
    • ‘Visitors will also be able to relax with a refreshing drink and snack in the dining room.’
    • ‘There were also quite a few desserts and hot drinks to choose from.’
    • ‘Frequent intake of water and non-caffeinated drinks will prevent drying of the mouth.’
    • ‘Discourage your kids from drinking too many fizzy drinks.’
    • ‘I am aware that I need to consume a sports drink during training for both fluid and fuel replacement.’
    • ‘‘Along with fizzy drinks, sweets are the main cause of tooth decay which affects around half of children in the UK,’ he fumed.’
    beverage, drinkable liquid, potable liquid, liquid refreshment, thirst quencher
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    1. 1.1 A quantity of liquid swallowed.
      ‘he had a drink of water’
      • ‘She took a long drink of water, swallowing it slowly as she looked around the courtyard.’
      • ‘This isn't like A-levels - you can go for little walks, go to the loo, have little drinks of water.’
      • ‘Cliff nodded, washing down his mouthful with a drink of pale liquid that smelled heavily of mangos.’
      • ‘‘This woman said she felt unwell and asked for a drink of water,’ he said.’
      • ‘We all clicked our glasses together and took drinks before bursting into laughter.’
      • ‘Adam dropped his eyes to his glass, took a drink and reached for the bottle.’
      • ‘His voice cracked with emotion and he paused for a drink of water when he started describing the events leading to Mrs Thompson's death.’
      • ‘I padded downstairs and let him out for a drink of water.’
      • ‘It took me a good few minutes and a drink of water to come round.’
      • ‘And she took a drink from her glass, her gaze wandering to some distant point in the sky.’
      • ‘Cassandra took a drink of water, clearing her throat from so much talk.’
      • ‘She picked up her glass and took a drink in an attempt to look unconcerned.’
      • ‘Jamie dropped his eyes to the drink in front of him and picked it up, swirling the contents in the glass before taking a drink.’
      • ‘Kelli was grateful to take a long, hot drink from her cup.’
      • ‘She was distressed and had to be given several drinks of water.’
      • ‘He took a long drink of water from the spring and lay under the shade of the tree, awaiting nightfall, when he could pick up a pup or two for supper.’
      • ‘She looked worried and asked if I wanted a drink from her water bottle.’
      • ‘She tossed them in her mouth and swallowed them with a long drink of water.’
      • ‘Hanging up the phone, she took a big drink from her glass and tried to pretend the taste didn't bother her.’
      • ‘Kat took the last drink from her glass and it was replaced the second she set it down.’
      swallow, gulp, sip, draught, swill
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    2. 1.2 Alcohol, or the habitual or excessive consumption of alcohol.
      ‘the effects of too much drink’
      ‘they both took to drink’
      • ‘A woman knew a good thing when she saw it - and that was a man with good career prospects who wasn't overly interested in drink, gambling or sex.’
      • ‘Like many successful Irish events, Dublin football games are bound up with the vast consumption of drink.’
      • ‘He drowned his sorrows in drink, and by playing his drum.’
      • ‘Back among their brethren in Harlem many took comfort in late-night jams - where the music really swung - but also in drink and hard drugs.’
      • ‘One of the most spectacular break-ins was that at Barrett's Bar at Church Street, where £350 was taken in drink and cigarettes.’
      • ‘He describes the extravagant body language, the noise, the excessive consumption of food and drink.’
      • ‘So I do what I always do, drown my sorrows in drink.’
      • ‘He noted how we feel sympathy for a soldier who is physically wounded, but have little compassion for the soldiers, as he put it, at the back of the legion hall hiding their inner torment in drink.’
      • ‘There has been a big increase in drink being bought in off-licences for 15- to 17-year-olds.’
      • ‘Youths have been using the sculpture as a hiding place behind which they can indulge in drink and drugs.’
      • ‘He is a rash, flamboyant warrior given to excesses of drink and courage.’
      • ‘‘We have to provide alternatives for young people so that they don't become involved in drink and drugs,’ he said.’
      • ‘As his love walked away into the night, the kilted supporter took solace in drink and song, as members of the Tartan Army do.’
      • ‘I took solace in drink, of which there was a plentiful supply.’
      • ‘Unschooled in the necessity of being accountable for her own actions and given to bouts of depression, Margaret took refuge in drink.’
      • ‘At the same time a national report to the Royal College of Psychiatrists highlighted the fact that British men were the most depressed in Europe, with many hiding their problems in drink, drugs and workaholism.’
      • ‘He told the meeting that there would be no consumption of drink at the museum.’
      • ‘But all they did was trash it and bring in drink.’
      • ‘She is convinced he has dabbled in drink and drugs and has appealed for help from education bosses.’
      • ‘The union are also keen to see a more relaxed attitude to the consumption of alcohol at Murrayfield, where no drink is allowed in the stadium.’
      alcohol, liquor, intoxicating liquor, alcoholic drink, strong drink, intoxicants
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    3. 1.3 A glass of liquid, especially when alcoholic.
      ‘we went for a drink’
      • ‘Adam snatched up the bottle and glanced quickly towards Grace who was busy serving drinks herself.’
      • ‘I also got free drinks from the bartenders.’
      • ‘There is a good selection of drinks, especially wine served by the glass, and a couple of real ales Courage Best and Directors.’
      • ‘For the pre-dinner crowd, Martinis are still the drink of choice.’
      • ‘Stiffer penalties were imposed for being drunk and clubs had to meet strict conditions to obtain a licence to serve drinks to members only.’
      • ‘It was the bar-owners' idea to offer - at no extra cost - food to nibble with drinks, to avoid inebriation.’
      • ‘With 94.2 miles under our belt, our now habitual evening drink - a pint of shandy - had never tasted so good.’
      • ‘The women were also asked to estimate the number of standard drinks they consumed in a typical drinking episode.’
      • ‘Smith, the mother of a young son, had been persuaded to go for a drink and thought a glass of wine would leave her system in an hour.’
      • ‘If they are granted he could serve drinks up to 2am as long as it is in conjunction with music, singing or dancing and refreshments are available, said Gloucestershire licensing officer PC Phil Cummings.’
      • ‘York Racecourse has applied to vary its alcohol licence, which will allow drinks to be sold and consumed on the new lawn.’
      • ‘The bartender poured a drink into a shot glass, and gave it to him.’
      • ‘We were ordering drinks at the bar and she started laying into me about Natasha.’
      • ‘There are a number of young people who think that if they drink out of a bottle rather than a glass, their drink will not be spiked.’
      • ‘He encouraged the alcoholic to have a drink with him.’
      • ‘This will be used to make sure drinks have not been watered down by dishonest landlords.’
      • ‘They come across as the people at a party who are standing in the corner and are just dying to have a dance, only they need one or two more drinks to get the courage.’
      • ‘Jessica spotted Billy out of the corner of her eye sipping his drink at the bar.’
      • ‘But he then had a pint of lager and one drink led to another.’
      • ‘After a shower and some clean clothes we went out for a drink to celebrate my safe return.’
      glass, cup, mug
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    4. 1.4the drinkinformal The sea or another large area of water.
      • ‘When I stepped off my boat I found that after weeks at sea I could hardly stand - as soon as I stepped onto the jetty I almost fell straight backwards into the drink again.’
      • ‘Me and Keith got caught by an alarmingly large gust of wind and ended up in the drink.’
      • ‘She was known as a ‘forgiving’ boat, allowing her crew to make mistakes without tossing them into the drink.’
      the sea, the ocean, the water
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  • drink and drive

    • Drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

      • ‘Alcohol impairs the senses, and people do all sorts of foolishness on the road when they drink and drive.’
      • ‘Since then, the message has been remorselessly driven home: do not drink and drive.’
      • ‘He urged motorists to stick to speed limits, pay attention when driving, wear seatbelts at all times, never drink and drive and always drive according to road conditions.’
      • ‘He was very popular and not the type of lad to drink and drive or take drugs.’
      • ‘He added: ‘There is a hardcore of reckless drivers who continue to drink and drive.’’
      • ‘‘Nobody wants to be involved in such an accident but the chances are very high if you drink and drive,’ he said.’
      • ‘The number of positive tests given after collisions is a stark reminder of just how dangerous it is to drink and drive.’
      • ‘But, despite Government publicity campaigns, including a series of shock TV commercials, some drivers are still willing to take a chance and drink and drive.’
      • ‘This is encouraging people to drink and drive when the message is not to drink and drive at all.’
      • ‘Men are almost three times more likely to drink and drive than women drivers, with 31% of men and 11% of women having driven while drunk.’
  • drink deep

    • Take a large draft or drafts of something.

      ‘I lifted the bottle and drank deep’
      figurative ‘he learned to drink deep of the Catholic tradition’
      • ‘It offers an opportunity to drink deep of the Gothic atmosphere and muse on the blurry boundaries between truth and illusion.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, educated men and women of the middle classes, weaned on Renaissance humanism, a secular art and life in the cities, drank deep from the literature of Greece and Rome.’
      • ‘I drank deep those passionate kisses, as though each was a lifetime in itself.’
      • ‘Harry and Dolly and I stood in the kitchen doorway looking out, sniffing at the cool, damp, slightly metallic smell of the earth drinking deep after so long a drought.’
      • ‘His ebony face was highlighted by the moon's glow as he looked up into it, his eyes drinking deep of its milky beauty.’
      • ‘Maclean urged guests to the city to ‘go out and sample it, drink deep of this confluence of rich cultures and traditions and go back as ambassadors for this area, with its unrivalled beauty and hospitality’.’
      • ‘He pulled the cork out with his teeth, tipped the bottle up and drank deep.’
      • ‘But Oxfam's research suggests we're drinking deep from the cup of inequity.’
      • ‘Both men stood and toasted one another, touching their cupped hands and drinking deep.’
      • ‘Gratefully, Cleo washed her face and hands in the torrents of water, drinking deep.’
  • drink someone's health

    • Express one's good wishes for someone by raising one's glass and drinking a small amount.

      • ‘I drank their health as they embark on new adventures.’
      • ‘Now I shall be able to set myself down, tell my stories, take my glass, and to all those who have patience to listen to my wonderful dream on the Catskill, I'll drink their health.’
      • ‘But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.’
      • ‘Don't be surprised if a perfect stranger comes over to drink your health - it's just that kind of place.’
      • ‘I signed his card and donated money for a present, and drank his health at the pub.’
      give someone one's good wishes, wish someone good luck, wish someone joy, drink someone's health, toast, drink to, drink a toast to
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  • drink (a toast) to

    • Celebrate or wish for the good fortune of someone or something by raising one's glass and drinking a small amount.

      • ‘He is said to have dipped a glass into her bath water and drank to the lady's wondrous charms.’
      • ‘Tonight when your friends and I raise a toast at your celebration, you know what we'll be drinking to: your health, of course!’
      • ‘Instead, Queen Gertrude seizes the chalice and drinks to her son's good fortune.’
      • ‘I'm off to get a glass of red and drink a toast to all my visitors - whoever and wherever you are.’
      • ‘Saunders ordered champagne from the waiter and they drank to the success of Operation Garden.’
      • ‘As he celebrates this week, I will be drinking to him.’
      • ‘Illingworth lights a cigar, sighs and drinks to a good life.’
      • ‘The three sisters clinked glasses, laughed, and drank to their everlasting bond as the sun finally disappeared beneath the ocean line, giving way to the cool night stars.’
      • ‘As a finale, he tips the water bucket on himself and downs a glass of tap water - drinking to the health of the city, the world and car-free Kensington.’
      • ‘Let's drink to that and celebrate our challenging lives!’
      toast, propose a toast to, wish health to, wish luck to, wish success to, salute
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  • drink someone under the table

    • informal Consume as much alcohol as one's drinking companion without becoming as drunk.

      • ‘I bet she could drink you under the table any day.’
      • ‘You didn't drink me under the table, but you did do better then I thought you would.’
      • ‘But the Australians would drink them under the table, then be up at 6: 30 working.’
      • ‘Girls have always felt like the weaker sex so now they want to show guys that they aren't - even if it's by drinking them under the table!’
      • ‘After all the formalities I drank him under the table at the pub.’
      • ‘These guys can drink you under the table, and talk your ears off once you're down there.’
      • ‘The drummer, who once reportedly dated the sexy blonde, claims Tara is the only woman who can drink him under the table.’
      • ‘I'd tell guys, ‘I can drink you under the table!’’
      • ‘They promptly drank you under the table then gave you a good thrashing.’
      • ‘Liza could drink him under the table with one hand tied behind her back.’
  • I'll drink to that

    • Uttered to express one's agreement with or approval of a statement.

      • ‘To them there has not been anything easy about it and if the next game is won by ten points, well I'll drink to that and look forward to the next’
      • ‘‘I'll drink to that,’ Jamie announced, raising her glass of punch before taking a sip.’
      • ‘When I get back to civilisation, I'll drink to that.’
      • ‘In regard to your proposal of stopping by for a refreshment and leaving a big tip… well, I'll drink to that!’
      • ‘He lifts his glass, which has been untouched the entire evening, and mutters, ‘I'll drink to that.’’


Old English drincan (verb), drinc (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch drinken and German trinken.