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 In this interpretation, that is both a Soviet artifact, particular to its bureaucracy and the incentives of socialist ideals, and the result of sclerotic power — of institutions disinclined to change in the face of facts. Bathsheba Demuth,, "Chernobyl reminds us of the tragic cost of lies," 28 June 2019 Forcing households to prop up the sclerotic state banking system, on top of the weak labor market, isn’t helping. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "How to Depress Chinese Consumers Without Really Trying," 15 Feb. 2019 Beginning with his first premiership, and continuing through his tenure as finance minister in Ariel Sharon’s government, Netanyahu has encouraged the modernization and reform of a once sclerotic economy. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s Longest-Serving Prime Minister," 20 July 2019 Texas Take: Get political headlines from across the state sent directly to your inbox Roy’s objections run deeper, aimed at the top-heavy, often sclerotic lawmaking process that has evolved on Capitol Hill. Bill Lambrecht,, "Texas Rep. Chip Roy again pushes House into OT, irking the ‘swamp creatures’," 14 June 2019 The sclerotic leadership of the Democratic Party and the ponderous scolds at the New York Times speak to the fierce urgency of someday, maybe. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Where Our New World Begins," 10 May 2019 Yet the newly sclerotic environment is also why both parties have already flung the doors wide open on their 2020 research, aiming to replicate Republicans’ work to drag down Clinton in 2016. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "What Hurts a Political Opponent in the Age of Trump?," 20 May 2018 The sclerotic agency is struggling to meet surging demand for Real ID licenses that will be needed to board domestic flights starting in 2020. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "California Democrats Test the Limits of Anti-Trumpism," 19 Oct. 2018 Companies and investors alike are betting the world’s fastest-growing large economy—once seen as bureaucratically sclerotic and unpredictable—is turning into a destination that offers opportunity driven by hundreds of millions of consumers. Corinne Abrams, WSJ, "India Overtakes China as Favored Target for Corporate Deals," 25 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for sclerotic

The first known use of sclerotic was in 1543

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on sclerotic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sclerotic

Comments on sclerotic

What made you want to look up sclerotic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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