in·​vet·​er·​ate | \ in-ˈve-t(ə-)rət How to pronounce inveterate (audio) \

Definition of inveterate

1 : confirmed in a habit : habitual an inveterate liar
2 : firmly established by long persistence the inveterate tendency to overlook the obvious

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Other Words from inveterate

inveterately adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for inveterate

inveterate, confirmed, chronic mean firmly established. inveterate applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence as to be practically ineradicable or unalterable. an inveterate smoker confirmed implies a growing stronger and firmer with time so as to resist change or reform. a confirmed bachelor chronic suggests something that is persistent or endlessly recurrent and troublesome. a chronic complainer

The History of Inveterate

Like veteran, inveterate ultimately comes from Latin vetus, which means "old," and which led to the Latin verb inveterare ("to age"). That verb in turn gave rise eventually to the adjective inveteratus, the direct source of our adjective inveterate (in use since the 14th century). In the past, inveterate has meant "long-standing" or simply "old." For example, one 16th-century writer warned of "Those great Flyes which in the springe time of the yeare creepe out of inveterate walls." Today, inveterate most often applies to a habit, attitude, or feeling of such long existence that it is practically ineradicable or unalterable.

Examples of inveterate in a Sentence

his inveterate tendency to overlook the obvious he has an inveterate tendency to tell some very tall tales
Recent Examples on the Web This despite Loki being an inveterate, enthusiastic liar who always has a not-so-secret agenda to rule Earth. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 9 June 2021 For all her mainstream popularity and music-industry accolades, Eilish remains an inveterate rebel. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2021 An inveterate schemer, he is said to be plotting both revenge and his political comeback. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 1 Sep. 2021 For the consummate deal-cutter, the inveterate angle-seeker, there was no play left. New York Times, 10 Aug. 2021 Penn captures the beating heart of an inveterate explorer, at its most self-deceiving but also at its bravest and boldest. Washington Post, 31 July 2021 The couple were inveterate fans of cruises and had sailed to the Caribbean, Baltic Sea and South Pacific, among other places. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, 19 July 2021 An inveterate reader, Helland died in his favorite chair, some of his many books at his side. Star Tribune, 17 July 2021 But despite all of that progress, for as much as the tabletop sector seems to have shed its reputation as a sanctum of inveterate masculinity, the wargaming space hasn't caught up with the mean. Luke Winkie, Wired, 5 June 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for inveterate

Middle English, from Latin inveteratus, from past participle of inveterare to age (transitive verb), from in- + veter-, vetus old — more at wether

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The first known use of inveterate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inveterate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of inveterate

: always or often doing something specified
: always or often happening or existing


in·​vet·​er·​ate | \ in-ˈvet-ə-rət, -ˈve-trət How to pronounce inveterate (audio) \

Medical Definition of inveterate

1 : marked by long duration or frequent recurrence inveterate bursitis
2 : confirmed in a habit : habitual sense 2 an inveterate smoker

More from Merriam-Webster on inveterate

Nglish: Translation of inveterate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inveterate for Arabic Speakers


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