constant; habitual; inveterate: a chronic liar.
continuing a long time or recurring frequently: a chronic state of civil war.
having long had a disease, habit, weakness, or the like: a chronic invalid.
(of a disease) having long duration (opposed to acute).


Slang. cronic.

Also chron·i·cal.

Origin of chronic

1595–1605; < Latin chronicus < Greek chronikós, equivalent to chrón(os) time + -ikos -ic
Related formschron·i·cal·ly, adverbchro·nic·i·ty [kro-nis-i-tee] /krɒˈnɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·chron·ic, adjectivenon·chron·i·cal, adjectivenon·chron·i·cal·ly, adverbsub·chron·ic, adjectivesub·chron·i·cal, adjectivesub·chron·i·cal·ly, adverbun·chron·ic, adjectiveun·chron·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedacute chronic

Synonyms for chronic


or chron·ic


noun Slang.

very potent marijuana.

Origin of cronic

probably by association with the use of marijuana for chronic pain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chronic

Contemporary Examples of chronic

Historical Examples of chronic

British Dictionary definitions for chronic



continuing for a long time; constantly recurring
(of a disease) developing slowly, or of long durationCompare acute (def. 7)
inveterate; habituala chronic smoker
  1. very badthe play was chronic
  2. very serioushe left her in a chronic condition
Derived Formschronically, adverbchronicity (krɒˈnɪsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for chronic

C15: from Latin chronicus relating to time, from Greek khronikos, from khronos time
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

Word Origin and History for chronic

early 15c., of diseases, "lasting a long time," from Middle French chronique, from Latin chronicus, from Greek khronikos "of time, concerning time," from khronos "time" (see chrono-). Vague disapproving sense (from 17c.) is from association with diseases and later addictions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chronic in Medicine




Of long duration. Used of a disease of slow progress and long continuance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

chronic in Science



Relating to an illness or medical condition that is characterized by long duration or frequent recurrence. Diabetes and hypertension are chronic diseases. Compare acute.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.