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 Other common pre-existing health issues included congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease and coronary artery disease. Joaquin Palomino, SFChronicle.com, "This is how they died. Santa Clara releases information on every COVID-19 death," 26 May 2020 And a lack of sufficient vitamin D is closely associated with common chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among others. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Vitamin D's effect on Covid-19 maybe be exaggerated. Here's what we know," 26 May 2020 Mike Reid, the assistant professor of infectious disease at UCSF, normally oversees programs relating to chronic disease in Africa. Lizzie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, "When the coronavirus came to San Francisco’s Bayview, it attacked the heart of the historically black neighborhood: the elders," 15 May 2020 The coronavirus outbreak has placed an additional emotional and safety burden on people with underlying health conditions, like chronic kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus offers new challenges to people trying to manage diabetes and kidney disease," 11 May 2020 Combating obesity: Obesity puts us at risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "8 Tips to Follow for When You’re Walking for Weight Loss," 5 May 2020 Her medical history included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis C, seizure disorder, and stage stage-five chronic kidney disease. Justine Van Der Leun, The New Republic, "Death of a Survivor," 3 May 2020 Forty million people worldwide rely on Lilly medicines to address chronic diseases, such as diabetes, that put them at greater risk of complications from the virus. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "Back to the office? Here's what Indiana's reopening plan means for office workers," 1 May 2020 Communities of color have higher rates of poverty, housing instability, and chronic disease. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "The Essential Workers Filling New York’s Coronavirus Wards," 1 May 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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chronic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronic. Accessed 5 Jun. 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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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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