in·​vet·​er·​ate | \ in-ˈve-t(ə-)rət How to pronounce inveterate (audio) \

Definition of inveterate

1 : confirmed in a habit : habitual an inveterate liar
2 : firmly established by long persistence the inveterate tendency to overlook the obvious

Other Words from inveterate

inveterately adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for inveterate

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

The History of Inveterate

Like veteran, inveterate ultimately comes from Latin vetus, which means "old," and which led to the Latin verb inveterare ("to age"). That verb in turn gave rise eventually to the adjective inveteratus, the direct source of our adjective inveterate (in use since the 14th century). In the past, inveterate has meant "long-standing" or simply "old." For example, one 16th-century writer warned of "Those great Flyes which in the springe time of the yeare creepe out of inveterate walls." Today, inveterate most often applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence that it is practically ineradicable or unalterable.

Examples of inveterate in a Sentence

his inveterate tendency to overlook the obvious he has an inveterate tendency to tell some very tall tales
Recent Examples on the Web Peter, an inveterate mansplainer, argues that in the real world, suspicious deaths often are ignored. Jake Cline, Washington Post, 27 May 2022 Nor is this the wisest move for the Daiquiri drinkers, because the initial money would run out, and the shares of an inveterate beach bum are hardly an appealing investment. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Most of Windsor’s childhood was spent in Cambridge, England, where his parents, academics and inveterate travelers, chose to live. James Reginato, Town & Country, 23 June 2022 Staff Sergeant William James is an inveterate risk-taker who seems to thrive on war, but there's no denying his gift for defusing bombs. Travis Bean, Forbes, 4 June 2022 Bremmer, an inveterate glass-half-fuller, urges his reader to accentuate the positive—as Ronald Reagan did! Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 17 May 2022 The exploits of Marsha Sprinkle — suitcase thief, con artist, inveterate liar — could have been a film. Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2022 In the season finale of Peacock’s Killing It, inveterate scammer Isaiah (Rell Battle) sums up his view of the world. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 An inveterate networker, Mackevich in 1972 joined the staff of the Illinois Humanities Council, which is the group that would funnel much of the grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bob Goldsborough, Chicago Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inveterate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inveterate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for inveterate

Middle English, from Latin inveteratus, from past participle of inveterare to age (transitive verb), from in- + veter-, vetus old — more at wether

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The first known use of inveterate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inveterate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for inveterate


in·​vet·​er·​ate | \ in-ˈvet-ə-rət, -ˈve-trət How to pronounce inveterate (audio) \

Medical Definition of inveterate

1 : marked by long duration or frequent recurrence inveterate bursitis
2 : confirmed in a habit : habitual sense 2 an inveterate smoker

More from Merriam-Webster on inveterate

Nglish: Translation of inveterate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inveterate for Arabic Speakers


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