ad·dic·tive | \-ˈdik-tiv \

Definition of addictive 

: causing or characterized by addiction an addictive drug an addictive personality

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Synonyms & Antonyms for addictive


addicting, habit-forming



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Examples of addictive in a Sentence

highly addictive drugs like crack and heroin the addictive thrill of surfing

Recent Examples on the Web

Purdue Pharma in 1996 gave the world OxyContin (2017 sales: $1.7 billion) and marketed the painkiller as safer and less addictive than other opioids. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis inmate plays role in film but misses premiere. He's still in prison.," 9 July 2018 Once the dish is finished with togarashi, a blend of spices that hits spicy, sweet, and savory notes, every bite becomes more addictive than the last. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "An ode to fries. Here are the 5 best places to eat fries in Louisville," 4 June 2018 Like so many of our nation’s current crises, the opioid epidemic was born of a highly profitable lie: that extended-release opioid painkillers were far less addictive than the ordinary kind. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused by Late ’90s," 29 May 2018 Reading this book is as addictive as scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter feed, and certainly as binge-worthy as any reality TV marathon. Sophie Dodd,, "Bestselling Author Jessica Knoll Is Back with a Real Housewives-Inspired Page-Turner,The Favorite Sister," 16 May 2018 In October, Trump visited a treatment center for infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, a collection of symptoms caused by being exposed to addictive drugs in utero. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "All eyes on Melania Trump's attire for expected Arizona visit," 28 June 2018 Some tackle research and studies, including one that would give the National Institutes of Health (NIH) more ability to conduct research into non-addictive pain medications. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "House advances dozens of bills to combat nation's opioid crisis," 19 June 2018 Advertisements reviewed by The Chronicle offer specifics about Juul’s vaping device, stating that the product contains an addictive chemical, nicotine. Natasha Mascarenhas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Juul warns teens and parents: ‘If you don’t smoke or vape, don’t start’," 6 June 2018 In addition, calling sugar addictive seems to be a stretch, considering what the research tells us. Rebecca Scritchfield, SELF, "Why Fear of 'Sugar Addiction' May Be More Toxic Than Sugar Is," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'addictive.' 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 addictive

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for addictive

addict entry 1 + -ive

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Statistics for addictive

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for addictive

The first known use of addictive was in 1891

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More Definitions for addictive



English Language Learners Definition of addictive

: causing a strong and harmful need to regularly have or do something

: very enjoyable in a way that makes you want to do or have something again


ad·dic·tive | \ə-ˈdik-tiv \

Medical Definition of addictive 

: causing or characterized by addiction addictive drugs


ad·dic·tive | \ə-ˈdik-tiv \

Legal Definition of addictive 

: causing or characterized by addiction addictive drugs

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Comments on addictive

What made you want to look up addictive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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