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 chronic (audio) \ adverb
chronicity \ krä-​ˈni-​sə-​tē How to pronounce chronic (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 In his Wednesday announcement, Murphy said the medical conditions that will now be covered under the expansion include cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, among others. Washington Post, "In New Jersey, smokers can now get the covid-19 vaccine before teachers or public transit workers," 15 Jan. 2021 To qualify, patients must be 65 or older or have a body mass index greater than 35 or have health conditions such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes or immunosuppressive disease. Jesus Jimenez, Dallas News, "Positive for COVID-19? These two centers offer free antibody therapeutics for some North Texans," 14 Jan. 2021 Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that rural Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke than those living in urban environments. Gary Shapiro, STAT, "Using technology to help heal health care disparities," 13 Jan. 2021 The dreaded chronic wasting disease (CWD) in whitetail deer is creeping ever closer to Alabama, though thus far it has never been detected inside the state borders. Frank Sargeant, al, "Deer Hunters Alerted to Watch for CWD," 3 Jan. 2021 People ending up in overcrowded housing, increasing their chances of developing chronic disease. New York Times, "New York Halted Evictions. But What Happens When the Ban Ends?," 1 Jan. 2021 That’s especially unfortunate since traditionally, the most common vow is to exercise more, a resolution that could improve health, reduce risk of chronic disease and save money. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Benefits of Sticking to New Year’s Resolution to Work Out More," 1 Jan. 2021 Asthma and chronic respiratory disease can be the result of air pollution—say, from an industrial plant in a low-income neighborhood. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 On the downside, COVID-19 prompted DNR to halt mandatory disease testing of deer in areas where the agency is trying to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "When so much else slumped in 2020, nature took off," 26 Dec. 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

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chronic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chronic. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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 chronic (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 chronic (audio) \ adverb
chronicity \ krä-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē, krō-​ How to pronounce chronic (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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