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)

: sclera

Examples of sclerotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Of course the regulators will spring to the defense of their sclerotic wards but the tide is unlikely to be stemmed. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 There are hearings called, exposés published, laws passed—the sclerotic machinery of oversight belatedly kicks into gear, and the people in charge exchange their cigars for handcuffs. Os Keyes, Wired, 18 Oct. 2021 This sclerotic process has doomed most fintech attempts. Matt Hougan, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 And Olympic visitors now filtering out of the country after Sunday’s closing ceremony will likely remember not the technological advances but the reams of paper forms, glitchy apps and sclerotic bureaucracy that made up its anti-COVID-19 measures. Victoria Kim Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2021 Even if the freshmen Democrats can somehow reform the filibuster next January, the Senate will remain a sclerotic, wasteful, unhappy body. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 The legislation implements confiscatory taxes to fund a cradle-to-grave welfare state, likely producing sclerotic growth in jobs and wages and pressure to raise taxes still higher to fund the left’s vision. Karl Rove, WSJ, 28 July 2021 There are some glimmers of hope that the federal government will eventually liberalize its sclerotic view of marijuana. Robin Abcarian, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 This would allow sclerotic European countries to tax successful U.S. firms solely by dint of housing consumers rather than encouraging investment and risk-taking—while blunting the benefit of any incentives Congress wants to provide. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 15 July 2021

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.

See More

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

Learn More About sclerotic

Time Traveler for sclerotic

Time Traveler

The first known use of sclerotic was in 1543

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sclerotic




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sclerotic

Cite this Entry

“Sclerotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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)

: sclera


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!