scle·​rot·​ic | \ sklə-ˈrä-tik How to pronounce sclerotic (audio) \

Definition of sclerotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a medical : of, relating to, or affected with sclerosis (see sclerosis sense 1) sclerotic arteries sclerotic bone lesions
b : grown rigid or unresponsive especially with age : unable or reluctant to adapt or compromise a sclerotic system/bureaucracy the country's sclerotic economy The upheaval in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere is driven by popular revulsion with sclerotic, corrupt leadership.— Rachel Bronson
2 anatomy : being or relating to the sclera the sclerotic coat of the eye



Definition of sclerotic (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of sclerotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective True friendships in middle age are seldom, the capacity somehow growing sclerotic. Thomas Mcintyre, Field & Stream, "F&S Classic: Light Years," 20 Dec. 2020 The people who dream of a better world are up against a sclerotic and undemocratic system helmed by people who tell us things can’t be better. Colette Shade, The New Republic, "The Year We Learned to Live Like Life Doesn’t Matter," 11 Dec. 2020 The estrangement of mother and son is inherited along with all the other trappings of the sclerotic upper class. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Class struggle is murder in a lean, unsparing British debut mystery," 25 Nov. 2020 Radicals need moderates to wield power in a giant heterogenous country with sclerotic institutions and deep wells of reaction. Michelle Goldberg, Star Tribune, "Leftists and moderates, stop fighting. You need one another.," 18 Nov. 2020 Perhaps our ability to band together, to respond creatively to new and difficult circumstances is not some tragic secret snare, as Tainter has it, a story that always ends in sclerotic complexity and collapse. Ben Ehrenreich, New York Times, "How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart?," 4 Nov. 2020 But it’s bleaker than just a sclerotic system intent on perpetuating itself, because Republican primaries involve Republican voters. Kerry Howley, The New Republic, "Behind Every Republican Man," 17 Sep. 2020 If Israel's public health policy is under fire, its economic policy-making is even more sclerotic. Oren Liebermann, CNN, "Israel is winning on the world stage, but losing the plot at home," 23 Sep. 2020 Museums in Italy, owned and controlled by the state, have been infested with politics and sclerotic because of it. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Reforms Boost Italian Museums," 12 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sclerotic.' 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 sclerotic


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1690, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sclerotic


Medieval Latin sclerotica, from Greek *sklērōtos, verbal of Greek sklēroun to harden

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Time Traveler for sclerotic

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The first known use of sclerotic was in 1543

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Last Updated

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sclerotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sclerotic


scle·​rot·​ic | \ sklə-ˈrät-ik How to pronounce sclerotic (audio) \

Medical Definition of sclerotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being or relating to the sclera the sclerotic layer of the eye
2 : of, relating to, or affected with sclerosis a sclerotic blood vessel



Medical Definition of sclerotic (Entry 2 of 2)

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