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

Nutritional optic neuropathy, which Atan said is more frequently caused by malabsorption, certain medications and alcoholism, is a dysfunction in the optic nerve. Deanna Paul, Twin Cities, "UK teen is legally blind after 7-year diet of french fries, white bread and ham slices, doctors say," 5 Sep. 2019 Loss delivers up the kind of toxic stress that can lead to later life ailments like heart disease, alcoholism, depression, and debilitating anxiety. Diana Bray, The Denver Post, "Diana Bray: We must deal with the trauma of these mass shootings, too," 4 Sep. 2019 Nutritional optic neuropathy, which Atan said is more frequently caused by malabsorption, certain medications and alcoholism, is a dysfunction in the optic nerve. oregonlive, "Teen blind after eating fries, bread and ham for 7 years," 3 Sep. 2019 In the first season, the lead synth character Anita is assigned as a nanny to a family whose human mother struggles with alcoholism. John C. Havens, Quartz, "Will we lose our rights as parents once robots are better at raising our kids?," 10 July 2019 Under the law, people causing an immediate danger to themselves or others or who are gravely disabled and cannot secure their own food, clothing and shelter because of serious mental illness or chronic alcoholism can be compelled into treatment. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "Why are more mentally ill people wandering SF streets? Report gives answers," 30 July 2019 After Apollo 11, Aldrin spent years struggling with mental depression and alcoholism. Washington Post, "Apollo 11’s ‘amiable strangers’ Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins," 13 July 2019 The publishing fortune of her grandparents dissipated into estrangement and alcoholism. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Look at the bird’: Ornithology and family history intertwine in ‘Blackbird Flying’," 15 June 2019 Elizabeth Fulton, a home economist at Kansas State Normal School, believed pie eating, like alcoholism, was a cause of divorce. Gabriella Petrick, Smithsonian, "Why Americans Love Their Apple Pie," 21 Aug. 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

21 Sep 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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