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See also: hang over


Alternative forms[edit]


American English; hang +‎ over. First sense was first attested in 1904. Second sense was first attested in 1894.



hangover (plural hangovers)

  1. Negative effects, such as headache or nausea, caused by previous drunkenness due to (excessive) consumption of alcohol.
    Synonym: veisalgia
    Antonym: afterglow
    I really enjoyed yesterday’s party, but now I have the biggest hangover – I’ll not be doing that again any time soon.
  2. Similar negative effects caused by previous excessive consumption of another substance, such as a drug, coffee, sugar, etc.
    • 2007, Suzanne Barnett, Jennifer Barnett Lesman, Amy Barnett Buchanan, Bev West, 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN:
      Don't go overboard and find yourself with a sugar hangover that lasts for days and makes your diet days that much harder.
    • 2007, Elizabeth Wurtzel, More, Now, Again, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 4:
      So today I walk into Dr. Singer's office with a heroin hangover, a headache like hell, vomiting, shaking, jonesing. I cannot bear to admit to her that it's come to this. I've been doing so well. But I missed therapy the whole time I was locked up []
    • 2011, Laurie Weeks, Zipper Mouth, The Feminist Press at CUNY, →ISBN:
      On the other hand, I was already drunk, and wasn't a heroin hangover preferable to the alcohol kind any day of the week?
    • 2015, Alexandra Jamieson, Women, Food, and Desire, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 7:
      We're left with our unmet needs and a sugar high that will quickly turn into a sugar hangover. So the craving rises again, calling out to us “Feed me!” and again we take the easy route and stuff it back down with food.
    • 2018, Pat Fitzpatrick, No Sex, No Sleep, Mercier Press Ltd, →ISBN:
      You know nothing about despair until you have experienced a coffee hangover. This is where you lose the run of yourself and have two double espressos in a row. Ten minutes later you have a weird feeling you are going to puke out through your toes.
  3. (figurative) An unpleasant relic left from prior events.
    • 2013 August 14, Simon Jenkins, “Gibraltar and the Falklands deny the logic of history”, in The Guardian[1]:
      While they deny the logic of history and geography, neither Gibraltar nor the Falklands will ever be truly "safe". One day these hangovers will somehow merge into their hinterlands and cease to be grit in the shoe of international relations. This day will be hastened if world governments take action to end tax havens.
  4. (historical) A sleeping arrangement, usually in homeless shelters, over a rope.
    • 1933 January 9, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter XXXVII, in Down and Out in Paris and London, London: Victor Gollancz [], →OCLC:
      At the Twopenny Hangover, the lodgers sit in a row on a bench; there is a rope in front of them, and they lean on this as though leaning over a fence. A man, humorously called the valet, cuts the rope at five in the morning.

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