What Does Binge-Watching Mean?

One new verb that recently entered the English language is to binge-watch. The Oxford Dictionary defines binge-watching as, “Watching multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession.” Although there’s no strict rule, I would say that if you watch 3 or more episodes in a row, you can probably describe it as binge-watching.

Binge-watching TV shows

The binge- prefix has become extremely common in recent years, especially in the media. Whenever someone takes part in an excessive amount of an action, we can turn it into a new phrase using the binge-xing formula. Binge-drinking has become a common topic of debate in the UK, with commentators noting the British habit of drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short space of time. Maybe when you’re sad or spending the whole weekend home alone, you indulge in binge-eating.

Binging on a Pancake

Although binge-watching, binge-drinking, and binge-eating are the most commonly used terms with the binge- prefix, there’s nothing to stop you from making up your own phrase. If my wife asks me why I’ve spent the last 30 minutes on the phone, I might tell her I’m binge-texting. That’s something I just made up, but all native English speakers would immediately understand what it means. In spoken English, it’s very common to make up your own words using popular affixes.

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But back to binge-watching … When changing tenses, we only need to alter the -watch part, and it follows the regular verb pattern. Here are some example sentences:

  • Yesterday, I binge-watched Game of Thrones.
  • Stop binge-watching, and come play tennis.
  • Tomorrow, I’ll binge-watch The Wire.

Do you want to practice? Type a sentence with binge-watch in the comments section below, and I’ll let you know if you’re correct.

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