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 These include problems such as chronic worry, sadness, isolation and even suicidal thoughts. Aviva Rutkin, The Conversation, "DACA argued at the Supreme Court: 6 essential reads," 12 Nov. 2019 Additionally, some often have a symptom of asthma, like a chronic, seasonal cough, that goes undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed as a common respiratory infection. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Laurel Griggs, 13, died after an asthma attack. How to know if symptoms could turn deadly," 11 Nov. 2019 Lower home values, lower tax collections A UCS report Cleetus co-authored last year found that many more homes are at risk of chronic flooding than is reflected in property values. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Climate change could end mortgages as we know them," 8 Nov. 2019 The medical examiner determined the baby’s cause of death was acute and chronic blunt injuries with brain hemorrhages and rib fractures and determined the manner of death to be homicide. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford mother charged in infant daughter’s death pleads guilty, agrees to testify against child’s father," 8 Nov. 2019 There are two types — acute and chronic — with the most common being acute bronchitis, which is a shorter, less severe version, and is what most people are diagnosed with. Leah Groth, Health.com, "Lady Gaga Just Cancelled Her Las Vegas Show Because of Bronchitis and a Sinus Infection," 7 Nov. 2019 Especially in the Melanesian states of Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, governments are plagued by chronic instability. The Economist, "Why politics in the south Pacific are so precarious," 7 Nov. 2019 Alzheimer’s causes chronic, low-level brain cell inflammation. Mayo Clinic News Network, chicagotribune.com, "Alzheimer’s treatments: What’s on the horizon?," 6 Nov. 2019 The American Chronic Pain Association describes neuropathic pain as a chronic condition that occurs when nerves become injured or damaged. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Kevon Looney to miss at least 2 more weeks with neuropathic condition," 6 Nov. 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
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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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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