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

Wonder, 69, is among 15% of U.S. adults who are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Stevie Wonder has a living kidney donor. Here's what that means.," 9 July 2019 Pearsall, and about 30 million others in the country, suffer from dry eye, a chronic disease that occurs when people can no longer produce enough quality tears to lubricate the entire eye surface. Catie Wegman, sun-sentinel.com, "Dry eye on the rise: What to know about the chronic disease," 8 July 2019 Researchers measured hair cortisol levels (an indicator of chronic stress) in dog-human dyads and found a strong degree of interspecies synchronization. Daphne Miller, Washington Post, "A new meaning for ‘sick as a dog’? Your pet’s health may tell you something about your own," 1 July 2019 Asthma is a chronic lung disease that, through the swelling of a person’s airways, obstructs the flow of air into and out of the lungs, said Dr. Vamsi Guntur, associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health. Rj Sangosti, The Denver Post, "The Long Shadow: Families in Elyria-Swansea struggle with asthma amid historic I-70 construction," 30 June 2019 This is happening twenty-three years after researchers announced that AIDS would now be a manageable chronic disease. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Coming Out, and Rising Up, in the Fifty Years After Stonewall," 28 June 2019 The new definition calls burnout syndrome the results of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Gwen Moran, Fortune, "As Workplace Burnout Gets More Attention, Could More Tech Actually Be the Answer?," 27 June 2019 Individuals have varying tolerance for dietary cholesterol, based on genetics or chronic diseases like diabetes. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, "Are Eggs Bad for You? The Verdict Is Still Out.," 15 June 2019 Some people experience accelerated aging as a result of chronic disease, mental illness, poverty, incarceration, or other medical and social circumstances. Louise Aronson, Twin Cities, "Louise Aronson: I’m a geriatrician, and I’m fine with an 80-year-old running for president," 14 June 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

French chronique, from Greek chronikos of time, from chronos

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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

Comments on chronic

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