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

Her childhood had been quietly calamitous, her father's career a farrago of alcoholism, shame, and secret homosexuality. Michael Chabon, GQ, "Michael Chabon: Are Kids the Enemy of Writing?," 27 Apr. 2018 Researchers compared genetic analyses of 700 human brains from deceased individuals who had one of those three disorders, major depression or alcoholism (columns) with brains of individuals who had none of the conditions. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "The Same Genes May Underlie Different Psychiatric Disorders," 12 July 2018 Blurton-Jones has noted higher rates of alcoholism, disease, and early death for Hadza living in Mangola than in the bush. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Farmers, tourists, and cattle threaten to wipe out some of the world’s last hunter-gatherers," 17 May 2018 His constituency was infested with heroin addiction, alcoholism, decrepit housing (his chief concern) and, as the old plants closed down, joblessness. The Economist, "Michael Martin (Lord Martin of Springburn) died on April 29th," 3 May 2018 But people who work in the field say many more die in hospital beds from acute alcoholism. Anchorage Daily News, "An endless loop: Homeless, alcoholic and dependent on Anchorage’s fraying and expensive safety net," 20 Jan. 2016 The visitors are learning about mental health services Pastoria Migratoria offers to immigrants struggling with everything from depression to alcoholism. Vikki Ortiz, chicagotribune.com, "'Chicago is the lighthouse': Local Catholic leaders take the lead in supporting immigrants," 13 July 2018 Naltrexone was initially sold as a daily tablet and marketed as a treatment for heroin addiction and then, later, for alcoholism. Bill Myers, Chicago Reader, "Officials hope much-hyped drug can slow state's opioid crisis, but is it worth the costs?," 16 May 2018 Perhaps the most promising application of the new drugs was in the treatment of alcoholism. Michael Pollan, WSJ, "The New Science of Psychedelics," 3 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

7 Sep 2018

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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