addiction

noun
ad·​dic·​tion | \ ə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce addiction (audio) , a- \

Definition of addiction

1 : a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence : the state of being addicted alcohol addiction an addiction to prescription painkillers drug addictions gambling addiction
2 : a strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly But those who know him well say he isn't driven by politics as much as his addiction to breaking news.— Amanda Ripley If we do not find the courage to kick our fossil fuel addiction and transition to clean energy, we will warm the atmosphere to the extent that areas typically covered in white all winter long could see only sporadic snow.— Steven Nyman

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Synonyms for addiction

Synonyms

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Examples of addiction in a Sentence

He has a drug addiction. His life has been ruined by heroin addiction. He devotes his summers to his surfing addiction.
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Recent Examples on the Web DeMercurio shared his cell with a man detoxing from his heroin addiction; Wynn shared his with someone who’d been arrested after leading police on a high-speed car chase and then a sprint across a cornfield. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Inside the Courthouse Break-In Spree That Landed Two White-Hat Hackers in Jail," 5 Aug. 2020 The former Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills quarterback used the money to feed his gambling addiction, prosecutors said. John Futty, The Enquirer, "Art Schlichter headed to Ohio prison after federal time ends," 5 Aug. 2020 Doomscrolling, combined with screen addiction, could take a significant toll on our mental and physical well-being, according to health experts. Brian X. Chen, Star Tribune, "How to snap out of doomscrolling," 4 Aug. 2020 Isaacs said his struggle with addiction started with alcohol, which is commonly referred to as a gateway drug. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'Harry Potter' star Jason Isaacs reveals he had a 'decades-long love affair with drugs'," 4 Aug. 2020 The star has openly discussed his battle with addiction in the past. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Elton John celebrates 30 years of sobriety, says he would "be dead" if he didn't ask for help," 30 July 2020 Trotter, the track speaks to Basit's struggles with addiction. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "Malik B., founding member of The Roots, dead at 47," 29 July 2020 Like thousands of others during the past 20 years, Williams said his addiction started with an injury. Washington Post, "Despair in Indian country," 29 June 2020 The actor had made no secret about his past struggles with addiction. Washington Post, "‘Glee’ was an upbeat teen musical. Tragedy is taking over its legacy.," 10 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'addiction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of addiction

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for addiction

earlier, "inclination, bent," in part derivative of addict entry 2, in part borrowed from Latin addictiōn-, addictiō "adjudging (of disputed property), assignment of a debtor to the custody of his creditor," from addīcere "to assign (property), hand over, give up to" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at addict entry 2

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Time Traveler for addiction

Time Traveler

The first known use of addiction was circa 1532

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Statistics for addiction

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Addiction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addiction. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for addiction

addiction

noun
How to pronounce addiction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of addiction

: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something

addiction

noun
ad·​dic·​tion | \ ə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce addiction (audio) \

Medical Definition of addiction

: a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence : the state of being addicted alcohol addiction an addiction to prescription painkillers drug addictions gambling addiction/it}

addiction

noun
ad·​dic·​tion | \ ə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce addiction (audio) \

Legal Definition of addiction

: compulsive physiological need for a habit-forming drug (as heroin)

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