[ noun ad-ikt; verb uh-dikt ]
See synonyms for addict on
  1. Sometimes Offensive.

    • a person who has become physically or psychologically dependent on a chemical substance: The leader of the addiction recovery center is, importantly, a self-identified former drug addict.

    • a person with an uncontrolled compulsion to continue engaging in an activity despite suffering negative personal or professional consequences: The funding is for treatment programs for sex addicts and pathological gamblers.

  2. a devoted fan; enthusiast; devotee: She’s a real baseball addict.My kids are manga addicts.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to become physically or psychologically dependent on an addictive substance, as alcohol or a narcotic.The documentary claimed that the tobacco industry used marketing techniques to addict new generations of children.

  2. to habituate or abandon (oneself) to something compulsively or obsessively: It can be hard to read a writer addicted to the use of high-flown language. There was a lot of worry about children becoming addicted to video games.

Origin of addict

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin addictus “assigned, surrendered,” past participle of addīcere, equivalent to ad- “toward” + dic-, variant stem of dīcere “to fix, determine”; see ad-

usage note For addict

Drug and alcohol addiction was historically considered a moral failing, demonstrating a weakness of character. This disparaging connotation persists in the nouns addict and alcoholic , in spite of our evolving modern understanding of the problem.
Addiction is the complicated result of genetic predisposition intersecting with dysfunctional behavior, neurochemical modification, environmental factors, and social influences. Many major medical associations treat addiction as a disease, in part because it is a chronic condition that is demonstrably present in a person’s neurophysiology.
Medical professionals, specialists, and advocates in the addiction treatment and recovery community suggest using language that focuses on the whole person and specifically mentions addiction or addictive behaviors only when those details are relevant. As an alternative to calling someone an addict or alcoholic , describe that person as someone who is addicted to painkillers , an individual with drug addiction , a person who drinks alcohol excessively , or someone who uses amphetamines .
Labels matter. People who have an addiction are human beings, first and foremost. They should not be reduced by the label addict or alcoholic to be defined by a single facet of their complex humanity.

Other words for addict

Other words from addict

  • ad·dict·ing, adjective
  • non·ad·dict, noun
  • non·ad·dict·ing, adjective

Words Nearby addict Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use addict in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for addict


  1. (tr; usually passive often foll by to) to cause (someone or oneself) to become dependent (on something, esp a narcotic drug)

  1. a person who is addicted, esp to narcotic drugs

  2. informal a person who is devoted to something: a jazz addict

Origin of addict

C16: (as adj and as vb; n use C20): from Latin addictus given over, from addīcere to give one's assent to, from ad- to + dīcere to say

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012