View synonyms for addiction


[ uh-dik-shuhn ]


  1. the state of being compulsively committed to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.


/ ə-dĭkshən /

  1. A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol. In physical addiction, the body adapts to the substance being used and gradually requires increased amounts to reproduce the effects originally produced by smaller doses.
  2. See more at withdrawal
  3. A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.

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Sensitive Note

See addict.

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Other Words From

  • o·ver·ad·dic·tion noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of addiction1

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin addictiōn- (stem of addictiō ) “a giving over, surrender”; addict, -ion

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Example Sentences

Don’t worry, though—with basic research skills and a solid strategy in mind, you’ll be able to sift through the noise and turn your new addiction into a more healthy habit.

Still, Morris has gotten some attention by pitching himself as “the great American comeback story” — beating an opioid addiction to turn his life around.

If you have an addiction problem, you shouldn’t put someone in a situation where they might be tempted.

From Fortune

They’re areas that light up in response to images of food when a person is hungry, or to drug-related images in people with addiction.

Experts say addiction has led men to spend money on khat that could have been used for their children’s education or to upgrade the quality of their family’s life.

From Ozy

What made you want to write a memoir now about your “addiction” to film?

I was talking to one of my friends, who had just recently gotten over a drug addiction, who she tried to talk to about this case.

Methamphetamine addiction is central to more than one story.

I had graduated NYU just a few years earlier and begun a career in publishing, but the addiction got the best of me.

The lure and addiction of gaming—which went back to pinball, of course—became a sensation with Asteroids.

It is most frequent among those whose addiction to alcohol for years has caused repeated paroxysms of delirium tremens.

But non-drug addiction is a major crime against the state of Omega.

Bagsby was a punchy man, with a bald head, and a nose which betokened his habitual addiction to the fiery grape of Portugal.

Addiction to the practice of occult arts had evidently become general in the now semi-orientalized city.

The addiction to sports, therefore, in a peculiar degree marks an arrested development of the man's moral nature.