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

She is now expected to die within three years due to numerous chronic diseases. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: Does an unmarried couple deserve a housewarming?," 12 Sep. 2019 More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and roughly 5,000 die each year while on the kidney transplant waiting list; that's about 12 people each day. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Hepatitis C-infected kidneys function as well as others after transplant, study says," 12 Sep. 2019 Unlike chronic wasting disease, which typically takes more than a year to kill an infected deer, EHD often kills deer within days. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A midge-borne disease has killed hundreds of deer in Iowa but so far Wisconsin hasn't been hit as hard," 11 Sep. 2019 James Atlas, who died last week, of chronic lung disease, at seventy, was a valorous combatant who knew both glory and defeat. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, "James Atlas’s Life in Life-Writing," 9 Sep. 2019 People of color are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases than their white counterparts. Fortune, "A Look at Why Poorer Neighborhoods Are Warmer Than Richer Ones: raceAhead," 4 Sep. 2019 Thanks to their red-purple pigment, cranberries contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant class linked to reduced risk of chronic disease. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Health Benefits of Cranberries, According to a Registered Dietitian," 3 Sep. 2019 Plants also contain a variety of phytochemicals—bioactive compounds including flavonoids, carotenoids, and polyphenols that, some studies suggest, may be linked to lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Does It Make a Difference if You Get Your Protein from Plants or Animals?," 28 Aug. 2019 One puff won’t cause serious, chronic disease, but pull on a vape a few times every hour—or go through a whole cartridge in a day—and the outcomes could be different. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine," 20 Aug. 2019

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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More Definitions for chronic

chronic

adjective

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 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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on chronic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chronic

Spanish Central: Translation of chronic

Nglish: Translation of chronic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chronic for Arabic Speakers

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