scle·​rot·​ic | \sklə-ˈrä-tik \

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

Necrotic has a bad smell and destroys the surrounding tissue, and sclerotic exhibits scar tissue. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "Rare "Flesh-Eating" STI Donovanosis Discovered in the U.K.," 23 Aug. 2018 That was once unheard-of in an event where movement upward was traditionally sclerotic and the results sometimes seemed predetermined. New York Times, "In Ice Dancing, the Electric Tops the Ethereal," 19 Feb. 2018 That opened the way for gradual change in the sclerotic government. Tracy Wilkinson,, "A year after Trump reversed Obama's opening to Cuba, the U.S. is sitting out Havana's political revamp," 22 June 2018 For one thing, the very California legislature that people like Draper consider hopelessly sclerotic and interest-group-driven would have to approve it. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Californians to Vote on Initiative to Divide Their State Into 3," 13 June 2018 After all, very few believed that Five Star and the League would or could institute an illiberal democracy in Italy, a country with a notoriously sclerotic institutional setup that would frustrate any effort at concentration of power. Angelos Chryssogelos, Time, "The Populism Debate Ignores the Real Lessons of Italy's Political Crisis," 31 May 2018 The toll would tackle two problems simultaneously, thinning traffic on maddeningly sclerotic streets, and at the same time pumping money into a starved transit system. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "Why You Should Be in Favor of Congestion Pricing in New York," 27 Mar. 2018 Virtually no one feels the urgency or has the clout to reform a sclerotic system. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "How Can It Take 15 Years and $32 Million to Build a Neighborhood Library?," 29 Mar. 2018 Bud Selig’s sclerotic approach to leadership ensured that any problem facing the game would go unresolved for at least a year or two, festering in the process. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Finding the Yankees' Evil, Evaluating Ohtani's Woeful Spring and Ranking MLB Food Fest's Best Offerings," 25 Mar. 2018

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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15 Nov 2018

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The first known use of sclerotic was in 1543

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More Definitions for sclerotic


scle·​rot·​ic | \sklə-ˈrät-ik \

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

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