alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism | \ ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌli-zəm, -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

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 The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, about her experiences with alcoholism and recovery, was published in April. Lolade Fadulu, The Atlantic, "The Experiment in Irresponsibility," 3 May 2018 It is named for Ben Murray, a chef friend who killed himself that year after a long struggle with alcoholism, Mr. Palmer says. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "A Reckoning With the Dark Side of the Restaurant Industry," 12 Nov. 2018 Jack and Kevin, Jack's son, also struggle with alcoholism. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "10 Significant Moments You Missed From 'This Is Us' Last Night," 17 Oct. 2018 He was eventually discharged from the military due to a struggle with alcoholism. Charlotte West, Teen Vogue, "How Title IX Exemptions Allow Religious Colleges to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Students," 15 Oct. 2018 Cirrhosis is a late-stage scarring of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions, like hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and chronic alcoholism, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Are More Millennials Dying of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease?," 27 July 2018 Director, screenwriter and editor Gus Van Sant shepherded the '70s- and '80s-set story of a man with alcoholism who becomes paralyzed in a drunken car accident. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Gus Vant Sant Opens Up on How Robin Williams Shaped 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot'," 12 July 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

12 Jan 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 \

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- \

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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