hab·​it-form·​ing ˈha-bət-ˌfȯr-miŋ How to pronounce habit-forming (audio)
: inducing the formation of an addiction
a habit-forming drug

Examples of habit-forming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And some good news for habit-forming rookies: When solidifying a new behavior, missing a day or two doesn’t derail progress, according to a study by Wood. Lydia Wang, Women's Health, 12 July 2023 The compound has been reported to provide a milder high compared to Delta 9 THC but still possesses mind-altering properties that can be habit-forming over time. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 26 June 2023 Phenobarbital, which is often used to treat epilepsy and seizures, and benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety, can be habit-forming. Riley Zhang, NBC News, 21 June 2023 Naloxone, which replaces opioids binding to receptors in the brain, is not habit-forming and is safe to use on people who are not overdosing. David Ovalle, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2023 The park warns that the sensation is habit-forming, so those who try it should prepare for multiple rides. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 29 Apr. 2023 Marketing materials say the product is no more habit-forming than sugar or caffeine. Brennon Dixson, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2023 More than 50% of the redfish sampled were contaminated with both flecainide, which in humans slows electrical signals in the heart to stabilize heart rhythms, and the habit-forming opioid pain reliever tramadol. Bill Kearney, Sun Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2023 But some narcotics can cause heartburn—in addition to being habit-forming—so discuss your options with a healthcare provider. Antibiotics Antibiotics like tetracyclines (a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics) that are used to treat common bacterial infections can also cause heartburn. Amanda Gardner, Health, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'habit-forming.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of habit-forming was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near habit-forming

Cite this Entry

“Habit-forming.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habit-forming. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: causing an addiction
heroin is a habit-forming drug

Medical Definition


hab·​it-form·​ing ˈhab-ət-ˌfȯr-miŋ How to pronounce habit-forming (audio)
: inducing the formation of an addiction
a habit-forming prescription painkiller

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