chronic

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

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

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Other Words from chronic

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

Did You Know?

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 Individuals with chronic illnesses are 12 times more likely to die from the virus. Alex Rothstein, Fortune, "Staying fit is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic," 5 Oct. 2020 So do other chronic illnesses that often go along with age, like diabetes and heart conditions. Adam Rogers, Wired, "President Donald Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19," 2 Oct. 2020 On Friday Sobyanin asked people over 65 and those with chronic illnesses to stay home from Sept. 28. Bloomberg.com, "New York Daily Cases Drop Back Below 1,000: Virus Update," 26 Sep. 2020 One of his chronic illnesses is a heart condition, that years ago required three stents in his chest. Sarah Ravits, NOLA.com, "The Vulnerable: Laura proves it's time to rethink how we handle hurricanes," 21 Sep. 2020 For decades, Abigail Snelling Chaplin fought for a military widow’s pension, arguing that the chronic illnesses leading to Josiah Snelling’s death could be traced to his service in the War of 1812. Curt Brown, Star Tribune, "Abigail Hunt Snelling Chapman was more than a helpmate at the early years of the fort bearing her name," 19 Sep. 2020 That includes grandparents over 60 like you and people with chronic illnesses. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Grandparents Day 2020: 5 tips for a safe grandparent-grandchild visit," 13 Sep. 2020 Some have symptoms that more closely fit with other chronic illnesses, including dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, or mast cell activation syndrome. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19," 19 Aug. 2020 For example, one patient the alliance helped had multiple chronic illnesses and was seeking help from an emergency department when that level of care wasn’t necessary. The Salt Lake Tribune, "These house calls aim to improve Utahns’ health by learning more about their lives," 16 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for chronic

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chronic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronic. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for chronic

chronic

adjective
How to pronounce chronic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chronic

medical : continuing or occurring again and again for a long time
: happening or existing frequently or most of the time
: always or often doing something specified

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 chronical (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 inflammationschronic 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 chronically (audio) \ adverb
chronicity \ krä-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē, krō-​ How to pronounce chronicity (audio) \ noun, plural chronicities

chronic

noun

Medical Definition of chronic (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that suffers from a chronic disease

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