Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

chronic

play
adjective chron·ic \ˈkrä-nik\

Simple Definition of chronic

  • medical : continuing or occurring again and again for a long time

  • : happening or existing frequently or most of the time

  • : always or often doing something specified

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of chronic

  1. 1 a :  marked by long duration or frequent recurrence :  not acute <chronic indigestion> <chronic experiments> b :  suffering from a chronic disease <the special needs of chronic patients>

  2. 2 a :  always present or encountered; especially :  constantly vexing, weakening, or troubling <chronic petty warfare> b :  being such habitually <a chronic grumbler>

chronic

noun

chronically

play \-ni-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

chronicity

play \krä-ˈni-sə-tē, krō-\ noun

Examples of chronic in a sentence

  1. He suffers from chronic arthritis.

  2. a chronic need for attention

  3. Inflation has become a chronic condition in the economy.

  4. Don't bother seeing that film—it's chronic.



Did You Know?

Chronic coughing goes on and on; chronic lateness occurs day after day; chronic lameness never seems to get any better. Unfortunately, situations that we call chronic almost always seem to be unpleasant. We never hear about chronic peace, but we do hear about chronic warfare. And we never speak of chronic health, only of chronic illness.

Origin and Etymology of chronic

French chronique, from Greek chronikos of time, from chronos


First Known Use: 1601

Synonym Discussion of chronic

inveterate, confirmed, chronic mean firmly established. inveterate applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence as to be practically ineradicable or unalterable <an inveterate smoker>. confirmed implies a growing stronger and firmer with time so as to resist change or reform <a confirmed bachelor>. chronic suggests something that is persistent or endlessly recurrent and troublesome <a chronic complainer>.

CHRONIC Defined for Kids

chronic

play
adjective chron·ic \ˈkrä-nik\

Definition of chronic for Students

  1. 1 :  continuing for a long time or returning often <a chronic disease>

  2. 2 :  happening or done frequently or by habit <a chronic complainer> <chronic tardiness>

chronically

\-ni-kə-lē\ adverb


Word Root of chronic

The Greek word chronos, meaning “time,” gives us the root chron. Words from the Greek chronos have something to do with time. The chronological order of events is the order in which they happened in time. Anything that is chronic lasts for a very long time. A chronicle is a telling of events in the order in which they happened in time.


Medical Dictionary

1

chronic

play
adjective chron·ic \ˈkrän-ik\

Medical Definition of chronic

  1. 1a:  marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness :  not acute <chronic indigestion> <her hallucinations became chronic>b:  suffering from a disease or ailment of long duration or frequent recurrence <a chronic arthritic> <chronic sufferers from asthma>

  2. 2a:  having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration—used especially of degenerative invasive diseases, some infections, psychoses, and inflammations <chronic heart disease> <chronic arthritis> <chronic tuberculosis>; compare acute 2b(1)b:  infected with a disease-causing agent (as a virus) and remaining infectious over a long period of time but not necessarily expressing symptoms <chronic carriers may remain healthy but still transmit the virus causing hepatitis B>

chronically

\-i-k(ə-)lē\play adverb

chronicity

\krä-ˈnis-ət-ē, krō-\play noun plural

chronicities



Variants of chronic

also

chronical

\-i-kəl\play

2

chronic

noun chron·ic

Medical Definition of chronic

  1. :  one that suffers from a chronic disease





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chronic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accommodate acommadate acommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ