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 These medications can provide powerful pain relief, but their use may expose patients to a significant risk of abuse and addiction. Sarah C. Hull, STAT, "Not so conscientious objection: When can doctors refuse to treat?," 8 Nov. 2019 The cost of the calendar is $22, with all profits helping men and women get into sober housing and treatment from drug and alcohol addiction. courant.com, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 The American opioid crisis began in the 1990s, when the over-prescription of painkillers like OxyContin stoked addiction. Washington Post, "China sentences fentanyl traffickers after US tip about ring," 8 Nov. 2019 Ekeke created her first visual symphony in 2016, telling the story of a woman battling addiction who was being released from jail. SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area artist elevates untold stories as ‘visual symphonies’," 7 Nov. 2019 Alcoholism and addiction know no boundaries and wreak havoc in all industries and communities. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Jamie Lee Curtis Details How Plastic Surgery Led to Her Painkiller Addiction in Brave New Interview," 6 Nov. 2019 The event was mandatory, and thousands of WeWork employees filled the Convention Center and listened to Kiedis discuss his lifelong battle with heroin and cocaine addictions. Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, "The Rise and Fall of WeWork," 6 Nov. 2019 Stephen King famously doesn’t care for director Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of his classic horror novel The Shining, about a family threatened by supernatural spirits — and the father’s own addiction issues — at the remote Overlook Hotel. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Stephen King says Doctor Sleep film 'redeems' Stanley Kubrick's The Shining," 5 Nov. 2019 In August, Antonello Bonci, scientific director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), resigned, and the agency’s director told employees in an email that Bonci would be running an addiction institute in Florida. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Science chief at NIH drug abuse institute resigned after sexual misconduct probe," 5 Nov. 2019

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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Statistics for addiction

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for addiction

The first known use of addiction was circa 1532

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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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Comments on addiction

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