alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce alcoholism (audio) , -kə-hə-\

Definition of alcoholism

1 : continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
2a : 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for alcoholism

Synonyms

drunkenness, insobriety, intemperance, intemperateness

Antonyms

sobriety, temperance

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Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism

Recent Examples on the Web

When some teens were just beginning to take their first sips of beer, Dylan was already struggling with alcoholism. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Remembering Luke Perry, the Poster Boy of '90s Studs," 4 Mar. 2019 In fact, a study analysis in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests this feeling is involved in everything from depression and alcoholism, strokes, decreased immune system, and early death. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How to Deal With Loneliness and Feelings of Isolation," 11 Jan. 2019 After overcoming both alcoholism and an addiction to methamphetamine, Jodie has now been sober since 2011, and regularly visits colleges to speak to students about her experiences. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "All About Hallmark Star Jodie Sweetin's Difficult Journey to Find Love After Divorce," 15 Dec. 2018 Have you been affected by alcoholism or drug addiction? San Francisco Chronicle, "A Retreat’s Risky Lessons," 14 June 2018 But her family had a history of alcoholism and as time went on, Bingham developed a drinking problem of her own. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 2018 Engfors has struggled with numerous problems in recent years—losing his business, getting a divorce and seeking treatment for alcoholism—but never gave up hope that his luck would turn around. Maria Carter, Woman's Day, "This Homeless Man Who Just Won $500,000 From the Lottery Proves That Christmas Miracles Are Real," 9 Dec. 2015 Simon Pegg has candidly revealed his long battle with alcoholism and depression. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Simon Pegg Reveals He Was a 'Lost and Unhappy, and an Alcoholic' as He Hit the Hollywood Big Time," 9 July 2018 Other southeast Michigan groups serving those struggling with alcoholism and homelessness include Mariner’s Inn on Ledyard Street in Detroit and the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Why this Traverse City homeless shelter lets alcoholics drink," 29 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of alcoholism

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for alcoholism

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alcoholism

The first known use of alcoholism was in 1848

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More Definitions for alcoholism

alcoholism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alcoholism

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

alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce alcoholism (audio) \

Kids Definition of alcoholism

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

alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm, -kə-hə- How to pronounce alcoholism (audio) \

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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