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The clever Greek hero Odysseus had to defeat the Cyclops Polyphemus before the one-eyed giant ate all his men, so he began by tricking Polyphemus into becoming inebriated by drinking gallons of strong wine. Odysseus had dared Polyphemus to a bout of excessive drinking that left the monster inebriated or in a highly drunken state. When the great giant fell over due to having consumed too much alcohol, Odysseus himself was inebriated with excited surprise at the giant’s hungover state. Now we have him, Odysseus said to his men as they approached the inebriated giant, who continued to snore and snore after having had way too much to drink.

Quiz: What has happened if someone becomes inebriated at a party?

  • They have gotten into an argument with someone.
  • They have consumed too much alcohol.
  • They have forgotten their troubles and are enjoying themselves.

Memory Hook

Infuriated Deb Deb couldn't believe that her fiance not only got inebriated on the day of their wedding, but even arrived drunk at the church; Deb, infuriated by Bill's inebriated state, punched him in the mouth and stormed off amidst gasping friends and family.


  • Oregon State University’s Extension Service notes that by October, the birds that have consumed the fruit "may be tipsy, inadvertent victims of alcohol consumption." . . . Police say there is no need to call emergency services to report the inebriated avians—they "should sober up within a short period of time." —NPR
  • The red dot is like a creative cookie crumb and Chris leads me through a spirited red door. I become inebriated with the vivid colors, textiles, and images of folk art from Central and South America. —Houstonia Magazine
  • I was alone, however, even the mundane seemed charged with meaning. . . . And my emotions were similarly amplified: The highs were higher; the periods of despair were deeper and darker. To a self-possessed young man inebriated with the unfolding drama of his own life, all of this held enormous appeal. —Jon Krakauer, American writer and mountaineer, from _Into the Wild_
  • Outside, in the shade of a 1,000-year-old olive tree, everyone appears to be related and inebriated, and waiters are serving drinks to well-turned out riders on well-turned out horses. —The Guardian

Word Ingredients

in- in
ebri drunk
-ed having a particular state

When one is inebriated, one is “in a state of drunkenness.”

Word Theater

The Princess Bride Inigo is inebriated, so Fezzik helps nurse him back to health.

Word Constellation