addiction

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

Definition of addiction

1 : the quality or state of being addicted addiction to reading
2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful

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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

The weekly class touched on subjects like menopause, addiction, sexuality, dementia and caregiving. cleveland.com, "‘Golden Girls’ appears to get better with pop culture age," 3 July 2019 The weekly class touched on subjects like menopause, addiction, sexuality, dementia and caregiving. Washington Post, "‘Golden Girls’ appears to get better with pop culture age," 2 July 2019 Most people associate alcohol’s danger with excessive drinking, which can lead to problems like liver disease, addiction, and drunk driving accidents. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "Casual Alcohol Use Has Been Linked to Several Major Cancers—So Where's the Campaign?," 27 June 2019 Some of the long-term consequences of methamphetamine use include: extreme weight loss, addiction, memory loss, violent behavior, paranoia and several others. Fox News, "Nazi soldiers used performance-enhancing 'super-drug' in World War II, shocking documentary reveals," 25 June 2019 Jason Wahler has been vocal about his very public battle with alcohol addiction, and even appeared on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. Marie Claire, "Who Is Jason Wahler's Wife Ashley Slack On 'The Hills'?," 24 June 2019 Euphoria, too, is not so much an all-encompassing portrait of a generation than a work based on the writer Sam Levinson’s specific experiences of addiction, anxiety, and recovery. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Euphoria’s Familiar Moral Panic," 19 June 2019 And, thanks to Elodie’s very real stealing addiction, the evidence of the girls’ crime — Brady’s car key — is hiding in the palm of her hand. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Each one of these characters is dealing with a major issue—be it anger, addiction, or sexuality—and they're given the space to explore it. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "HBO’s Euphoria Is Unlike Any Teen Show You’ve Ever Seen," 14 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 1

History and Etymology for addiction

earlier, "inclination, bent," in part derivative of addict entry 1, 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 1

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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

9 Jul 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

: compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful — compare habituation

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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