alcoholism

noun

al·​co·​hol·​ism ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce alcoholism (audio)
-kə-hə-
1
: continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
2
a
: a chronic, a progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction

Note: Alcoholism is typically characterized by the inability to control alcoholic drinking, impairment of the ability to work and socialize, tendency to drink alone and engage in violent behavior, neglect of physical appearance and proper nutrition, alcohol-related illness (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver), and moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and confusion) upon detoxification.

b
: acute alcohol poisoning resulting from the usually rapid consumption of excessive alcoholic beverages

Examples of alcoholism in a Sentence

a treatment center for those suffering from alcoholism
Recent Examples on the Web Smart said although many Indigenous families have been devastated by alcoholism, the ban was bane to tribal people who should be allowed to make their own choice. Frank Vaisvilas, Journal Sentinel, 2 July 2024 Day gives a transformative performance as Ebony Jackson, a mother of three fighting her way out of alcoholism, trauma poverty, yet still just on the edge the most important battle of her life. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 14 June 2024 Trump, whose brother Fred Trump Jr. died of complications from alcoholism, said he’s never taken a drink. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 6 June 2024 That leads to alcoholism and, somehow, trying to stab him with her stiletto heel. Jackson McHenry, Vulture, 22 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for alcoholism 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alcoholism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alcoholism was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near alcoholism

Cite this Entry

“Alcoholism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alcoholism. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce alcoholism (audio)
: continued, uncontrolled, and greater than normal use of alcoholic drinks
also : an abnormal bodily state associated with such use

Medical Definition

alcoholism

noun
al·​co·​hol·​ism ˈal-kə-ˌhȯ-ˌliz-əm, -kə-hə- How to pronounce alcoholism (audio)
1
: continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
2
: a chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction

Note: Alcoholism is typically characterized by the inability to control alcoholic drinking, impairment of the ability to work and socialize, tendency to drink alone and engage in violent behavior, neglect of physical appearance and proper nutrition, alcohol-related illness (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver), and moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and confusion) upon detoxification.

compare acute alcoholism

More from Merriam-Webster on alcoholism

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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