AskDefine | Define drinking

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of consuming liquids [syn: imbibing, imbibition]
2 the act of drinking alcoholic beverages to excess; "drink was his downfall" [syn: drink, boozing, drunkenness, crapulence]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. present participle of drink

Extensive Definition

Drinking is the act of consuming a liquid through the mouth. Water, for example, is required for many of life's physiological processes, and excess or decreased water intake is associated with health problems. Spanish: beber: to drink


A daily intake of 3-6 liters of water is required for the normal physiological functioning of the human body, depending on ambient weather conditions and diet (especially salt and sugar intake). The absolute minimum over the long term is about 1.6 liters (600 ml for urine, 200 ml for fecal losses, and 800 ml for losses via the skin and lungs). This includes water contained in food (i.e., it is not essential to drink 1-2 liters of water a day for survival, though it is often recommended for good health).
The sensation caused by dehydration of the body is called "thirst". The sensation of thirst is a dry feeling in the back of the throat and an intense desire to drink fluids. Thirst is regulated by the hypothalamus in response to subtle changes in the body's electrolyte levels, and also as a result of changes in the volume of blood circulating.

Role in disease

Polydipsia is the medical term for consumption of large quantities of water and may be a sign of various diseases (Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes insipidus, and some psychiatric conditions).
Much of the world's disease is caused by the lack of clean drinking water. Lack of water in diet will eventually cause death by hypernatremia and dehydration, particularly when sweating consumes much of the body water.
It is also possible to overhydrate, which sometimes happens with athletes who consume too much water, thereby diluting the concentration of salts in the body.


Drinking vessels may include glasses, cups, bottles, canteens, and bowls.
Fewer skills are required for drinking from a baby bottle or a cup that has a lid with a nozzle. Therefore, these are useful for small children and people with some disabilities. If neither eating nor drinking are possible, some alternatives are enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition.


"Drinking" is also used as a synonym for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Additionally, having "thirst" or being "thirsty" can metonymically express a desire for alcohol.
drinking in Czech: Pití
drinking in Hebrew: שתייה
drinking in Dutch: Drinken
drinking in Indonesian: Minum
drinking in Japanese: 飲む
drinking in Korean: 마시기
drinking in Norwegian: Drikking
drinking in Narom: Baithe
drinking in Russian: Питьё
drinking in Chinese: 飲水
drinking in Contenese: 飲嘢
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