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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for addiction

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The deaths of rappers like Big Pun, who died following a heart attack; J. Dilla, who died from complications of lupus, and DMX, who died of a heart attack, sparked conversations about physical health and addiction. NBC News, 13 July 2021 John Cox, the Rancho Santa Fe businessman also running for governor, used the Spears example in his more sweeping proposal to force homeless people with mental health and addiction problems into treatment programs before providing them with housing. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 June 2021 This month, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health began offering services for those with mental health and addiction issues at St. Anthony Center. cincinnati.com, 16 June 2021 The effort also will help businesses, government and other health-care purchasers expand access and offer better mental-health and addiction aid to employees. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 15 June 2021 Tickets, which are being handled by livestream platform Mandolin, are $29.99, of which $10 will be split between the two organizations to support musicians struggling with mental health, addiction and substance abuse. Cathy Applefeld Olson, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Chief Hughes said such attacks are often carried out by people suffering from mental illness and addiction. Paul Berger, WSJ, 14 June 2021 At Hartford HealthCare, more than two-thirds of virtual appointments are for mental health, addiction and other behavioral health concerns. Alex Putterman, courant.com, 13 June 2021 His attorney, Staci Pipkin, said Doles has suffered poor mental health and addiction throughout his life. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, 7 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About addiction

Time Traveler for addiction

Time Traveler

The first known use of addiction was circa 1532

See more words from the same year

Statistics for addiction

Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Addiction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addiction. Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for addiction

addiction

noun

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on addiction

Nglish: Translation of addiction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of addiction for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about addiction

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!