Old English drincan "to swallow water or other fluid," also "to swallow up, engulf" (class III strong verb; past tense dranc, past participle druncen), from Proto-Germanic *drenkanan (source also of Old Saxon drinkan, Old Frisian drinka, Dutch drinken, Old High German trinkan, German trinken, Old Norse drekka, Gothic drigkan "to drink"), which is of uncertain origin or connections, perhaps from a root meaning "to draw."
Most Indo-European words for this trace to PIE *po(i)- (source of Greek pino, Latin biber, Irish ibim, Old Church Slavonic piti, Russian pit'; see imbibe).
Figurative meaning "take in through the senses" is from late 12c. Especially "to imbibe spiritous liquors" from mid-15c. To drink to "salute in drinking" is by mid-13c. To drink like a fish is recorded from 1744. To drink (someone) under the table "continue drinking and remain (comparatively) sober after others have passed out" is by 1909.
"beverage," often especially "alcoholic beverage," late Old English drinc, drync, from drink (v.). Meaning "as much of any liquid as is or may be taken at a time" is from c. 1300.
The noun, AS. drinc, would normally have given southern drinch (cf. drench), but has been influenced by the verb. [Weekley]
Old English drincere, "one who drinks," agent noun from drink (v.). Specifically of habitual consumers of alcoholic beverages from c. 1200.
late 12c., drinkinge, "the action of drinking," especially drinking for pleasure, verbal noun from drink (v.). Drinking problem "alcoholism" is by 1953; earlier was drinking habit (by 1825).
full form of the past participle of drink. Now chiefly as an adjective, "inebriated;" that sense was in Old English druncena. The meaning "habitually intoxicated" is by 1540s. Also, of things, "soaked, saturated" (early 15c.). Figurative sense of "acting as if drunk, uneven, unsteady" is by 1786. Related: Drunkenly. In the sense "addicted to drink, habitually inebriated" Middle English also had drunc-wile (c. 1200); drunkensom (mid-13c.).
c. 1200, "to submerge, sink; drown, kill by drowning," from Old English drencan "give drink to, ply with drink, make drunk; soak, saturate; submerge, drown," causative of drincan "to drink" (see drink (v.)), from Proto-Germanic *drankijan (source also of Old Norse drekkja, Swedish dränka, Dutch drenken, German tränken, Gothic dragkjan "to give to drink"). Sense of "to wet thoroughly by throwing liquid over" is by 1550s. Related: Drenched; drenching.