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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chronically

Contemporary Examples of chronically

Historical Examples of chronically

  • It is chronically troubled with "the disease of touchiness."

  • Miss Fanny tried not to see her—her eyes were chronically red.

    Emmy Lou

    George Madden Martin

  • She was a facile designer, but her manner was chronically weak.

    The History of "Punch"

    M. H. Spielmann

  • Elsie has them chronically, but the rest of us are up and down.

    A Houseful of Girls

    Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

  • Harris is inclined to be chronically severe on all British institutions.

    Three Men on the Bummel

    Jerome K. Jerome

British Dictionary definitions for chronically



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 chronically



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

chronically 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.

chronically 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.