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

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Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism
Recent Examples on the Web Stuart too was orphaned at 16 after his mother died of alcoholism, and faced many of the same barriers as a young, gay, working-class man growing up in Glasgow. Liam Hess, Vogue, "The Beauty and Brutality of Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain," 8 Dec. 2020 Trump’s older brother, Fred, died of alcoholism in 1981. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the politics of unconditional love," 25 Oct. 2020 Anyway, the whole second half of the diary is Richard fighting this battle with alcoholism and ultimately, of course, losing. Elizabeth Ellen, Harper's Magazine, "Lucky Woman," 16 Mar. 2021 Jessica Simpson published a memoir in 2020 about her time in the spotlight, including her battle with alcoholism. New York Times, "Speaking of Britney … What About All Those Other Women?," 27 Feb. 2021 But even before 2020, a general lack of opportunities has led to high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence. New York Times, "From Easter Island, a Pianist Emerges," 26 Feb. 2021 Life also just feels better in ways that are less scientifically quantifiable but equally real, which results in reduced rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, domestic violence, obesity, and suicide. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, "Tired Of COVID Winter Lockdowns? Here Are 5 Places Where The Weather Is 75 Degrees And Sunny Year Round," 24 Feb. 2021 The lived experience that drives white working-class people to die from alcoholism, drug overdoses, and suicide is not accorded the same moral and political force as the lived experience of, for example, racial minorities on elite college campuses. Blake Smith, Washington Examiner, "Simone de Beauvoir and the perversion of 'lived experience'," 11 Feb. 2021 Alaska has been rated number one, or near number one, in alcoholism, domestic violence, including child abuse, suicide and now homelessness. Anchorage Daily News, "Candidate Q&A: Alaska Senate District F — Jim Cooper," 3 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alcoholism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alcoholism. Accessed 13 Apr. 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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