ad·​dic·​tive | \ -ˈdik-tiv How to pronounce addictive (audio) \

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

The eye rolls and jaw drops are part of what makes Riverdale so addictive and fun. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix’s The Society Is a Creepier Version of Gossip Girl—and I Can’t Stop Watching," 10 May 2019 The idea that sugar is bad and addictive is arguably the queen of all diet myths these days. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Is Sugar Bad for You? Here's What You Need to Know," 26 Mar. 2019 As always, the game is addictive and JB wants to continue playing more and more quests. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Jellybean on "Riverdale"?," 18 Apr. 2019 State media have criticized games for years, citing violent content and addictive qualities for children. Shan Li, WSJ, "China’s Internet Watchdog Closes Hundreds of Websites, Criticizes Tencent App," 23 Jan. 2019 Some drugs on the FDA’s list, including Celgene’s, are part of a safety program that can require restricted distribution of brand-name drugs that have serious risks or addictive qualities. Sydney Lupkin — Kaiser Health News, STAT, "Drug makers blamed for blocking generics have jacked up prices and cost U.S. billions," 23 May 2018 But Seven Seconds has neither the addictive quality nor the gravity of Sud's former drama. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Netflix's crime drama 'Seven Seconds' is chilly but predictable," 22 Feb. 2018 Silicon Valley insiders admit our phones are designed to be addictive. CBS News, "How to unplug from your tech during vacation," 5 July 2018 The compound has been shown in some studies to relieve pain, help aid sleep, mitigate anxiety, and may even help people quit addictive drugs. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "How Hard Should We Lean into This Whole CBD Coffee Trend?," 16 Aug. 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

15 May 2019

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 How to pronounce addictive (audio) \

Medical Definition of addictive

: causing or characterized by addiction addictive drugs


ad·​dic·​tive | \ ə-ˈdik-tiv How to pronounce addictive (audio) \

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).


a strong desire or propensity

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