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alcoholism

[ al-kuh-haw-liz-uhm, -ho- ]
/ ˈæl kə hɔˌlɪz əm, -hɒ- /
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noun
(not in technical use as a medical diagnosis, see alcohol use disorder) a chronic illness characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms upon reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and professionally.
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Also called alcohol dependence .

Origin of alcoholism

First recorded in 1855–60; alcohol + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use alcoholism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for alcoholism

alcoholism
/ (ˈælkəhɒˌlɪzəm) /

noun
a condition in which dependence on alcohol harms a person's health, social functioning, or family life
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 alcoholism

alcoholism
[ ălkə-hô-lĭz′əm ]

A progressive, potentially fatal disease characterized by the excessive and compulsive consumption of alcoholic beverages and physiological and psychological dependence on alcohol. Chronic alcoholism usually results in liver and other organ damage, nutritional deficiencies and impaired social functioning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for alcoholism

alcoholism

A chronic disease associated with the excessive and habitual use of alcohol; the disease, if left unattended, worsens and can kill the sufferer. Alcoholism is marked by physical dependency and can cause disorders in many organs of the body, including the liver (see cirrhosis), stomach, intestines, and brain. It is also associated with abnormal heart rhythms, with certain cancers, and, because of loss of appetite, with poor nutrition. The cause of alcoholism is very complicated and most often involves a mixture of physical, psychological, and possibly genetic factors.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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