[ uh-dik-shuhn ]
See synonyms for addiction on
  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.

Origin of addiction

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

usage note For addiction

See addict.

Other words from addiction

  • o·ver·ad·dic·tion, noun

Words Nearby addiction Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use addiction in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for addiction


/ (əˈdɪkʃən) /

  1. the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit, esp compulsive dependency on narcotic drugs

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

Scientific definitions for addiction


[ 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. See more at withdrawal.

  2. A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.