chronic

adjective
chron·​ic | \ ˈkrä-nik How to pronounce chronic (audio) \

Essential Meaning of chronic

1 medical : continuing or occurring again and again for a long time a chronic disease He suffers from chronic arthritis/pain. chronic health problems
2 : happening or existing frequently or most of the time chronic [=habitual] lateness a chronic need for attention See More ExamplesInflation has become a chronic condition in the economy. chronic warfareHide
3 : always or often doing something specified He is a chronic complainer/grumbler. [=he complains/grumbles all the time] a chronic gambler/offender

Full Definition of chronic

1a : continuing or occurring again and again for a long time chronic indigestion chronic experiments
b : suffering from a chronic disease the special needs of chronic patients
2a : 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

Other Words from chronic

chronic noun
chronically \ ˈkrä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce chronic (audio) \ adverb
chronicity \ krä-​ˈni-​sə-​tē How to pronounce chronic (audio) , krō-​ \ noun

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

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Chronic coughing goes on and on; chronic lateness occurs day after day; chronic lameness never seems to get any better. Unfortunately, situations that we call chronic almost always seem to be unpleasant. We never hear about chronic peace, but we do hear about chronic warfare. And we never speak of chronic health, only of chronic illness.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Inmates at Parchman have alleged that chronic staff shortages and rampant violence have led some prisoners to insert their own catheters, treat their own stab wounds and suffer through seizures without medication. NBC News, 17 Nov. 2021 The pandemic has only exacerbated chronic and mental health conditions that the US was already battling—and devoting 90% of their annual health care expenses to, says the CDC. Kylie Logan, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2021 Bexar County continued building houses despite a crippled supply chain — chronic delays in getting carpet, shingles and bricks made worse by national shortages of carpenters, roofers and concrete finishers. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Nov. 2021 Maman, as her daughters call her, is a former ballerina and a chronic self-performer. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2021 The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has documented chronic troubles with the third-party electric suppliers and run-ins with customers. Stephen Singer, courant.com, 17 Nov. 2021 Our bodies also hold a soup of chronic coinfections that never really go away. Roxanne Khamsi, The Atlantic, 17 Nov. 2021 The more ACEs an individual experiences, the more likely that person will develop acute and chronic diseases, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease or depression, both in childhood and adulthood. Nadine Burke Harris, CNN, 16 Nov. 2021 From over-the-counter treatments to surgical procedures, eye doctors share how those with chronic dry eye can find relief. Jenny Mccoy, Health.com, 16 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chronic.' 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 chronic

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for chronic

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.

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Time Traveler for chronic

Time Traveler

The first known use of chronic was in 1601

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Dictionary Entries Near chronic

chronaxie

chronic

chronic fatigue syndrome

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Statistics for chronic

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chronic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronic. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for chronic

chronic

adjective
chron·​ic | \ ˈkrä-nik How to pronounce chronic (audio) \

Kids Definition of chronic

1 : continuing for a long time or returning often a chronic disease
2 : happening or done frequently or by habit a chronic complainer chronic tardiness

Other Words from chronic

chronically \ -​ni-​kə-​lē \ adverb

chronic

adjective
chron·​ic | \ ˈkrän-ik How to pronounce chronic (audio) \
variants: also chronical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce chronic (audio) \

Medical Definition of chronic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by long duration, by frequent recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly progressing seriousness : not acute chronic indigestion her hallucinations became chronic
b : suffering from a disease or ailment of long duration or frequent recurrence a chronic arthritic chronic sufferers from asthma
2a : having a slow progressive course of indefinite duration used especially of degenerative invasive diseases, some infections, psychoses, and inflammations chronic heart diseasechronic arthritischronic 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 may remain healthy but still transmit the virus causing hepatitis B

Other Words from chronic

chronically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce chronic (audio) \ adverb
chronicity \ krä-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē, krō-​ How to pronounce chronic (audio) \ noun, plural chronicities

chronic

noun

Medical Definition of chronic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that suffers from a chronic disease

More from Merriam-Webster on chronic

Nglish: Translation of chronic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chronic for Arabic Speakers

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