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

dependence (also dependance), habit, jones [slang], monkey

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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

Attending Healey’s news conference Monday were about a dozen people who had struggled with addiction to OxyContin and other opioids, or had family members who did. BostonGlobe.com, "Healey vows to keep pursuing Purdue ‘perpetrators’ - The Boston Globe," 17 Sep. 2019 Then it was routed back into the postal system in thousands of packages addressed to homes across this country awash with prescription painkiller addiction. Claire Galofaro And Lindsay Whitehurst, chicagotribune.com, "The rise and fall of an Eagle Scout’s deadly multimillion-dollar fentanyl trafficking empire," 14 Sep. 2019 But the case was delayed because of his troubles bonding with his son and his continued involvement with the boy’s mother, who struggles with a heroin addiction. Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica, "In a Disputed Custody Case, the Children of a Spanish-Speaking Father Will Remain With Their Slovak-Speaking Foster Parents," 29 Aug. 2019 Her son Tyler died of a heroin overdose in 2014, after a six-year battle with drug addiction. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Pharmacies across Ohio received large amounts of painkillers as opioid epidemic ramped up," 31 July 2019 The book is a roadmap through your grief and struggles with addiction. Elisabeth Egan, Glamour, "Erin Lee Carr Released Two Documentaries and a Book in the Past Six Months. Here's How She Did It," 9 July 2019 Hunter—who spoke frankly to me about his struggles with addiction—started drinking socially as a teen-ager. Adam Entous, The New Yorker, "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?," 1 July 2019 Zendaya is currently also starring in the HBO series Euphoria as a 17-year-old dealing with drug addiction. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Zendaya's Net Worth Is Super Impressive for a 22-Year-Old," 27 June 2019 An imperfect but honest voice for those struggling with addiction. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "Anthony Bourdain Showed Me How to Travel," 25 June 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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Learn More about addiction

Dictionary Entries near addiction

addict

addicted

addicting

addiction

addictive

add-in

adding machine

Statistics for addiction

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for addiction

The first known use of addiction was circa 1532

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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)

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Comments on addiction

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