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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Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism
Recent Examples on the Web The first facility in the state to receive accreditation to provide treatment for alcoholism, the nearly 75-year-old Fairbanks hospital, 8102 Clearvista Parkway, sits about half-mile away from Community Health Network’s northside campus. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Fairbanks treatment center merges with Community Health Network," 14 Nov. 2019 Jamie Lee Curtis recently opened up about what led to her painkiller addiction and her struggles with alcoholism. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Jamie Lee Curtis Details How Plastic Surgery Led to Her Painkiller Addiction in Brave New Interview," 6 Nov. 2019 The comic takes place in 1983 and centers on Jerri Bartman, a once-rising TV journalist who moves back to her hometown in the midwest due tor struggles with alcoholism. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "David Dastmalchian on Dreaming Up Comic 'Count Crowley' on Movie Sets," 23 Oct. 2019 In those documents, Marshall's mother and daughter wrote that he had been hospitalized for severe alcoholism at least three times since 2013 and went to work under the influence. Liz Dufour, Cincinnati.com, "Family of judge accused of coming to work drunk withdraws guardianship case against him," 13 June 2019 Or, for that matter, a genetic predisposition for alcoholism, which Harry and Rachel display during an epic, post-nonnuptial drunk. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Like Father’ Review: Dysfunctional Daddy-Daughter Duo," 2 Aug. 2018 The symptoms were so unpleasant that metronidazole itself was studied as a treatment for alcoholism. Richard Klasco, New York Times, "Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Antibiotics?," 15 June 2018 Today Opening up Elizabeth Vargas returned to 20/20 and opened up about her time in rehab for alcoholism. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Morning Headlines: Elizabeth Vargas Opens Up About Alcoholism, This Is Your Brain on Inactivity — and More," 24 Jan. 2014 Porter’s Call is an organization that helps musicians battling addiction and alcoholism. Darlene Aderoju, PEOPLE.com, "Inside Joseph Habedank’s Journey from Rehab to the Grammys — Why He Says MusiCares ‘Saved My Life’," 18 Dec. 2019

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

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alcoholism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alcoholism. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for alcoholism

alcoholism

noun
How to pronounce alcoholism (audio)

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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