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

Antonyms

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Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism
Recent Examples on the Web In 1999, after years struggling with alcoholism and mental illness, Rother’s husband, Rich Rose, hung himself in a motel room in Mexico. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego true-crime author’s latest case: the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau," 24 Apr. 2021 Loosely based on pianist Bud Powell, Turner struggles with alcoholism and drug use, even as he remains consumed by a lifelong love affair with jazz. Washington Post, "Bertrand Tavernier, versatile and acclaimed French filmmaker, dies at 79," 26 Mar. 2021 The specter of Ivar returning and exacting revenge on his brother tormented him, leading him down a dark path of alcoholism and mental illness that ultimately resulted in Lagertha’s death. Erik Kain, Forbes, "‘Vikings’ Series Finale Review: The Last Three Sons Of Ragnar Lothbrok," 21 Mar. 2021 This bio show, which was filmed at London’s Old Vic in 2002, recounts her Broadway victories, as well as her struggle with alcoholism and her many rocky romances. New York Times, "Revel in the Power of Theater," 13 Feb. 2021 Long plagued by alcoholism, Williams fell ill at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville on the last night of 1952. al, "Hank Williams died on New Year’s Day 1953, Montgomery funeral drew 20,000 mourners," 31 Dec. 2020 Liggett-Creel says several Healing Youth Alliance members have spoken about witnessing community violence, drug sales, overdoses and the effects of alcoholism and eating disorders. Angela Roberts, baltimoresun.com, "The mental health field is overwhelmingly white. This group for Black Baltimore teens is hoping to change that.," 3 Dec. 2020 Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuartis an epic portrayal of a working-class family haunted by alcoholism. Sydney Williams, NBC News, "2020 National Book Awards finalists mark multiple firsts," 30 Oct. 2020 Elsewhere Elfrida Wing, the long-suffering wife of the film’s director, tries to overcome ten years of writer’s block, only to be thwarted and steadily broken by alcoholism and her philandering husband’s latest betrayal. The Economist, "Secrets and lies William Boyd’s new novel is set amid the upheavals of 1968," 17 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for alcoholism

Time Traveler

The first known use of alcoholism was in 1848

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Statistics for alcoholism

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alcoholism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alcoholism. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on alcoholism

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