pp. Bingeing on alcohol at home before going out for the evening, particularly to a place where alcohol is expensive or not available.
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Young people are engaging in a "new culture of intoxication" that even has its own buzzwords — "pre-drinking" or "pre-gaming." …

This new form of binge drinking goes far beyond a warm-up to a night out with friends, says a new report by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health researcher Samantha Wells and two colleagues at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario.

It's an "intense, ritualized and unsupervised" drinkfest, in many cases perfectly timed so that the booze hits the bloodstream within minutes of stepping inside the bar, Wells said in a telephone interview from London, Ont.
—Susan Pigg, “'Pre-drinking' binges by kids dangerous, study warns,” The Toronto Star, December 17, 2008
Max and his brothers are pre-gaming. A dozen of them strut about the courtyard of their house on the University of Florida's Fraternity Row, each nursing a cold beer in a foam hugger. A Frisbee flies as Jimi Hendrix blares from the loudspeakers.

The only thing unusual about this day's pre-gaming is that it actually precedes a game. In the two decades since the legal drinking age was raised to 21, the term has come to encompass any rapid consumption of alcohol in private before venturing out to venues where drinking may not be possible.
—Kevin Sack, “21,” The New York Times, November 02, 2008
1999 (earliest)
Another difference between students at JMU and students at London is drinking before going out, known as "pre-gaming" or "pre-partying."
—Marcia Apperson, “Students compare drinking habits between James Madison U. and schools abroad,” University Wire, October 21, 1999
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