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past participle of drink, used as an adjective from mid-14c. in sense "intoxicated." In various expressions, e.g. "drunk as a lord" (1891); Chaucer has "dronke ... as a Mous" (c.1386); and, from 1709, "as Drunk as a Wheelbarrow." Medieval folklore distinguished four successive stages of drunkenness, based on the animals they made men resemble: sheep, lion, ape, sow. Drunk driver first recorded 1948. Drunk-tank "jail cell for drunkards" attested by 1912, American English. The noun meaning "drunken person" is from 1852; earlier this would have been a drunkard.
Old English drincan "to drink," also "to swallow up, engulf" (class III strong verb; past tense dranc, past participle druncen), from Proto-Germanic *drengkan (cf. Old Saxon drinkan, Old Frisian drinka, Dutch drinken, Old High German trinkan, German trinken, Old Norse drekka, Gothic drigkan "to drink"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from a root meaning "to draw." Not found outside Germanic.
Most Indo-European words for this trace to PIE *po(i)- (cf. Greek pino, Latin biber, Irish ibim, Old Church Slavonic piti, Russian pit'; see imbibe).
The noun meaning "beverage, alcoholic beverage" was in late Old English.
The noun, AS. drinc, would normally have given southern drinch (cf. drench), but has been influenced by the verb. [Weekley]To drink like a fish is first recorded 1747.
[in all senses drunk verges on being standard English]
The drinks of the Hebrews were water, wine, "strong drink," and vinegar. Their drinking vessels were the cup, goblet or "basin," the "cruse" or pitcher, and the saucer. To drink water by measure (Ezek. 4:11), and to buy water to drink (Lam. 5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to be satiated with slaughter. The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve, through fear of violating the law of Lev. 11:20, 23, 41, 42. (See Matt. 23:24. "Strain at" should be "strain out.")
The first case of intoxication on record is that of Noah (Gen. 9:21). The sin of drunkenness is frequently and strongly condemned (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:7, 8). The sin of drinking to excess seems to have been not uncommon among the Israelites. The word is used figuratively, when men are spoken of as being drunk with sorrow, and with the wine of God's wrath (Isa. 63:6; Jer. 51:57; Ezek. 23:33). To "add drunkenness to thirst" (Deut. 29:19, A.V.) is a proverbial expression, rendered in the Revised Version "to destroy the moist with the dry", i.e., the well-watered equally with the dry land, meaning that the effect of such walking in the imagination of their own hearts would be to destroy one and all.