chronic

adjective

chron·​ic ˈkrä-nik How to pronounce chronic (audio)
1
a
: continuing or occurring again and again for a long time
chronic pain
chronic illness
chronic experiments
see also chronic disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, chronic wasting disease
b
: being, providing, or requiring long-term medical care (as for a chronic disease)
chronic medical care
the special needs of chronic patients
2
a
: always present or encountered
especially : constantly vexing, weakening, or troubling
chronic petty warfare
chronic meddling in one another's domestic affairs … Amatzia Baram
b
: being such habitually
a chronic grumbler
chronic noun
plural chronics
Apart from the lady with the sore throat, there were four more new visits, several follow-up calls, and the endless list of chronics. Elizabeth Scott
chronically adverb
She is chronically ill.
people who are chronically late
The schools are chronically short of funds.
Choose the Right Synonym for chronic

inveterate, confirmed, chronic mean firmly established.

inveterate applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence as to be practically ineradicable or unalterable.

an inveterate smoker

confirmed implies a growing stronger and firmer with time so as to resist change or reform.

a confirmed bachelor

chronic suggests something that is persistent or endlessly recurrent and troublesome.

a chronic complainer

Examples of chronic in a Sentence

He suffers from chronic arthritis. a chronic need for attention Inflation has become a chronic condition in the economy. Don't bother seeing that film—it's chronic.
Recent Examples on the Web Groups that may be particularly vulnerable to heat include: Young children and infants Older adults People with chronic medical conditions Pregnant women Cooling centers in Indianapolis Indiana residents can call 211 or 866-211-9966 to find cooling centers near them. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 21 June 2024 Wen: People who are the most vulnerable include those who are very young and elderly, and those who have chronic medical conditions. Katia Hetter, CNN, 21 June 2024 Check on your neighbors The ODH urges people to check on older neighbors, friends, and family, as well as those with chronic medical conditions, at least twice a day. Chad Murphy, The Enquirer, 20 June 2024 Lupus is a chronic condition, meaning there is no cure. Serenity Mirabito, Rn, Health, 19 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for chronic 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French chronique, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin chronicus, going back to Latin, "written in the form of annals," borrowed from Greek chronikós "of time, temporal, in order by time," from chrónos "time" + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at chrono-

Note: Latin chronicus was used by medical writers (as Caelius Aurelianus, ca. early 5th century a.d.) to translate Greek chrónios "occurring again and again," used by Greek medical writers, though Greek chronikós, the source of chronicus, lacks this sense.

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of chronic was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near chronic

Cite this Entry

“Chronic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronic. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

chronic

adjective
chron·​ic ˈkrän-ik How to pronounce chronic (audio)
1
: continuing or occurring again and again for a long time
a chronic disease
2
: habitual sense 2
a chronic complainer
chronically adverb
Etymology

from French chronique "chronic," from Greek chronikos "of time," from chronos "time" — related to anachronism, chronicle, synchronous

Medical Definition

chronic

1 of 2 adjective
chron·​ic ˈkrän-ik How to pronounce chronic (audio)
variants also chronical
1
a
: marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness : not acute
chronic indigestion
Her symptoms became chronic.
see also chronic disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy
b
: being, providing, or requiring long-term medical care (as for a chronic disease)
chronic care facilities
chronic treatment with antidiabetic medication
2
a
: having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration
chronic heart disease
chronic arthritis
chronic tuberculosis
compare acute sense 2b(1)
b
: infected with a disease-causing agent (as a virus) and remaining infectious over a long period of time but not necessarily expressing symptoms
chronic carriers of hepatitis B
chronically adverb
chronically ill patients

chronic

2 of 2 noun
: one that suffers from a chronic disease

More from Merriam-Webster on chronic

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