alcoholism

noun al·co·hol·ism \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌli-zəm , -kə-hə- \
Updated on: 21 Apr 2018

Definition of alcoholism

1 : continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
2 a : a chronic, a progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction
Note: Alcoholism is typically characterized by the inability to control alcoholic drinking, impairment of the ability to work and socialize, tendency to drink alone and engage in violent behavior, neglect of physical appearance and proper nutrition, alcohol-related illness (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver), and moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and confusion) upon detoxification.
b : acute alcohol poisoning resulting from the usually rapid consumption of excessive alcoholic beverages

Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

  1. a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism

Recent Examples of alcoholism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alcoholism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of alcoholism

1848

See Words from the same year

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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ALCOHOLISM Defined for English Language Learners

alcoholism

Definition of alcoholism for English Language Learners

  • : a medical condition in which someone frequently drinks too much alcohol and becomes unable to live a normal and healthy life


ALCOHOLISM Defined for Kids

alcoholism

noun al·co·hol·ism \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm \

Definition of alcoholism for Students

: continued, uncontrolled, and greater than normal use of alcoholic drinks accompanied by physical and mental dependence on alcohol

Medical Dictionary

alcoholism

noun al·co·hol·ism \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm, -kə-hə- \

medical Definition of alcoholism

1 : continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
2 : a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction
Note: Alcoholism is typically characterized by the inability to control alcoholic drinking, impairment of the ability to work and socialize, tendency to drink alone and engage in violent behavior, neglect of physical appearance and proper nutrition, alcohol-related illness (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver), and moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and confusion) upon detoxification.
— compare acute alcoholism


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