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

It’s also been exacerbated by drug addiction that has come along with it. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "Baltimore Responds to President Trump," 3 Aug. 2019 David Anthony Kennedy struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "The Kennedy curse: With Saoirse's death, a look at who else tragically died in this prominent family," 2 Aug. 2019 The vaccination campaign is largely focused on people experiencing homelessness and people with drug addictions. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "Threat of hepatitis A outbreak among Denver’s homeless prompts a massive response," 26 July 2019 The Peyman family — elderly parents and eight adult children — own a 110 square meter (1,180 square feet) apartment in Tehran’s District 12, a poor area plagued by drug addiction and other social problems. Washington Post, "US sanctions squeeze Iran middle class, upend housing sector," 23 July 2019 Another neighbor told me her cousin was visiting to withdraw from her addictions to meth and heroin. Ted Conover, Harper's magazine, "The Last Frontier," 22 July 2019 Ryan Leaf has been hired by ESPN to be a college football analyst, another step in the remarkable comeback of the former Washington State star who has battled drug addiction and served time in prison. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, "ESPN hires disgraced QB Ryan Leaf as college football analyst," 14 July 2019 Ryan Leaf has been hired by ESPN to be a college football analyst, another step in the remarkable comeback of the former Washington State star who has battled drug addiction and served time in prison. Ralph D. Russo, chicagotribune.com, "ESPN hires former quarterback Ryan Leaf as a college football analyst," 14 July 2019 But the teens in the new Netflix series, Trinkets, also have to deal with their addiction to shoplifting. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Get To Know the Cast of "Trinkets" And Their Characters," 17 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

6 Aug 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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