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From pie (type of pastry consisting of an outer crust and a filling) + eyed,[1] a hyperbole suggesting that a person’s eyes are open so wide that they are as large as pies.



pie-eyed (comparative more pie-eyed, superlative most pie-eyed)

  1. (informal, originally US) With one's eyes wide open and staring in an expressionless manner; wide-eyed.
    Synonyms: moon-eyed, owly-eyed, saucer-eyed
    • 1921 February, R. A. Chath, “The Phantom Call”, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Radio News, volume 8, number 2, New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, OCLC 48581401, page 537:
      [H]ere I've been roosting all day long, with nothing to do but gaze at this bunch of would-be scribes grinding out jazz copy, and now, at half-past four, that pie-eyed zebra of a Sunday editor has to hand me an assignment about as concrete as a hunk of Hudson River mist; and I've got a date with Vita for supper at six.
    • 1923 September 15, “Pat”, “Railway Supply Man’s Bedtime Story: Broadcasted from Station RYREV, Chicago. No. 23.”, in Willard A. Smith [et al.], editors, Railway Review, volume 73, Chicago, Ill.: Railway Review, OCLC 659451242, page 404, column 1:
      Of all the blockheads in the world, I have the finest collection working for me. Terence Tadpole is a dolt, Sidney Squirrel is a sentimental idiot, Freddie Fox is a pie-eyed fool, Felix Frog is a perfect imbecile.
    • 2014, Russell Brand, “Serenity Now”, in Revolution, New York, N.Y.: Ballantine Books, →ISBN, pages 16–17:
      When the pie-eyed teens in the school hall, where I, decades before, had grasped the tendril with which I would swing out of Essex, like a tubby Tarzan, look to me full of X Factor ambition and Xbox distraction and tell me that they "want to be famous too," I wince, but I want to tell them they've been swindled. That they are being horribly misled by the dominant cultural narratives.
  2. (informal, by extension) (Extremely) drunk or intoxicated.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:drunk
    • 1950, Anya Seton [pseudonym; Anya Seton Chase], Foxfire, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin; republished Boston, Mass.: Mariner Books, 2015, →ISBN, page 246:
      "He's just pie-eyed," said Dart quietly. "God knows how much straight alcohol he's had. Better come over here, Andy."
    • 2015, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Don Bartlett, transl., Dancing in the Dark [...] Translated from the Norwegian (My Struggle; 4), London: Vintage, →ISBN, page 280:
      I sat there, getting more and more pie-eyed, without anyone noticing, as far as I could judge, since the sole manifestation of my drunkenness was that my tongue was looser than usual.
    • 2016, Marissa St. James, chapter 5, in Fool’s Gold (McKinley Jewels; 2), White Bear Lake, Minn.: Melange Books, →ISBN, page 48:
      No, nothing happened. You were so pie-eyed drunk you were incapable of doing anything whatsoever.
    • 2016 December 18, Daniel Gray, “Boxing Day football: Game and Christmas collide to make us all excitable children”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian[1], London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 26 March 2017; extracted from Saturday, 3pm: 50 Eternal Delights of Modern Football, London: Bloomsbury, 2016, →ISBN:
      It is Boxing Day in a football ground, and all we can do is sprawl over the plastic, hurling instructions and vague encouragement. The seat is an extension of the sofa, the match another Pick of the Day in the Radio Times. Some are wearing Santa hats, some have been drinking only six or seven hours after last stopping, guzzling away, topping up their levels to reach pie-eyed delirium.



  1. ^ pie-eyed, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2006; “pie-eyed, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.