alcoholism al·co·hol·ism (āl'kə-hô-lĭz'əm)
The compulsive consumption of and psychophysiological dependence on alcoholic beverages.
A chronic, progressive pathological condition, mainly affecting the nervous and digestive systems, caused by the excessive and habitual consumption of alcohol. Also called chronic alcoholism.
Temporary mental disturbance and muscular incoordination caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Also called acute alcoholism.
|alcoholism (āl'kə-hô-lĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
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.
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.