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

Public health researchers argue that neurological trauma on a widespread scale is the root cause for much of the city’s unemployment, mental illness, addiction, alcoholism and even suicide and homelessness. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette trying to form massive coalition in effort to treat community's trauma," 7 June 2018 The latest sci-fi curiosity from Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes), is a freak hybrid of kaiju classics, Pacific Rim, alcoholism dramas, hangout comedies, and female-empowerment films. Tim Grierson, Popular Mechanics, "Quirky Monster Film 'Colossal' Is As Clever As It Is Disjointed," 6 Apr. 2017 Williams was a tattered soul, a gay man tormented by a series of tempestuous relationships, a constant uphill battle against alcoholism, and a lifelong addiction to prescription painkillers. Adrienne Westenfeld, Town & Country, "T&C Family Album: Tennessee Williams," 3 Apr. 2014 There are men who have gone through war, struggle with alcoholism, and love their families unconditionally. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Milo Ventimiglia: Jack Pearson Is Great, But He's Not Me," 19 Mar. 2019 Sir Anthony Hopkins discussed his battle with alcoholism in a speech to students at the University of California on Wednesday. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Anthony Hopkins discusses battle with alcoholism, says he was 'usually hungover' and hard to work with," 27 July 2018 Widowers over the age of 75 have the highest rate of alcoholism in the U.S., according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, "Dealing With an Aging Parent’s Alcohol Problem," 23 June 2018 Like most of the novel’s cast, Burgh is a patchwork of real-life people: a pinch of Mark Rothko (alcoholism and depression), a touch of Philip Guston (early years as a muralist), perhaps a little of Sandler himself (service in World War II). Jackson Arn, WSJ, "‘Goodbye to Tenth Street’ Review: A Final Sweeping," 15 Feb. 2019 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

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

4 May 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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Comments on alcoholism

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