from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance: a drug used in the treatment of heroin addiction.
  • n. An instance of this: a person with multiple chemical addictions.
  • n. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something.
  • n. An instance of this: had an addiction for fast cars.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being addicted; devotion; inclination.
  • n. A habit or practice that damages, jeopardizes or shortens one's life but when ceased causes trauma.
  • n. A pathological relationship to mood altering experience that has life damaging consequences.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being addicted; devotion; inclination.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being given up to some habit, practice, or pursuit; addictedness; devotion.
  • n. In Roman law, a formal giving over or delivery by sentence of court; hence, a surrender or dedication of any one to a master.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs)
  • n. (Roman law) a formal award by a magistrate of a thing or person to another person (as the award of a debtor to his creditor); a surrender to a master
  • n. an abnormally strong craving


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From addict +‎ -ion; compare (Latin) addictio ("an adjudging, an award")


  • The term addiction usually refers to both psychological and physical dependence on a drug, including alcohol.


  • My analogy regarding giving more tax dollars to Congress, likening it to heroin addiction, is quite apt.

    Matthew Yglesias » Conservatives Don’t Care About the Deficit

  • The current directors of the agencies charged with studying drugs (the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA) and alcohol (the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, or NIAAA) have both voted for returning the term addiction to DSM-V.

    Stanton Peele: What Is Addiction?

  • Yet she wants to return to the term addiction in order to rule out dependencies on legitimately prescribed medications.

    Stanton Peele: What Is Addiction?

  • While the word addiction may make you think of smoking or alcohol, cocaine or methamphetamine, there are many other things besides these traditional substances that can trigger addictive physiology—things like gambling, sex, food, even playing video games.


  • MILLMAN: I do think that the term addiction gets overused.

    CNN Transcript Apr 1, 2006

  • And that was the nature of the term addiction, or addict, well into the 1500s.

    NPR Topics: News

  • And of course, the theme in your book is, where does the word addiction come from?

    NPR Topics: News

  • When I use the term addiction, I mean it as a wake-up call.

    Your Moral Leader

  • In the underdeveloped world that isn't developing, the addiction is a mixture of fascism, corruption, and socialism.

    Lucas on Growth, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty


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