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[uh-dik-shuh n] /əˈdɪk ʃən/
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
1595-1605; < Latin addictiōn- (stem of addictiō) a giving over, surrender. See addict, -ion
Related forms
overaddiction, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for addiction
  • He spent the next two decades in and out of prison as he battled drug addiction and his own demons.
  • The thrill of gambling and the consequent addiction comes from the adrenaline rush of trying to extricate yourself from danger.
  • New findings reveal that cigarette addiction can arise astonishingly fast.
  • Drug addiction exacts a variety of ill effects on a user's health.
  • Smokers who sustain damage to the part of the brain called the insula have their addiction to nicotine virtually vanish.
  • Properly used, painkillers don't lead to addiction .
  • Alcohol addiction is a horrible disease that destroys lives.
  • Addicts have to confront their addiction and most of all their denial.
  • Near misses could heighten gambling addiction.
  • Dopamine has been implicated in other addiction studies.
British Dictionary definitions for addiction


the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit, esp compulsive dependency on narcotic drugs
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
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Word Origin and History for addiction

c.1600, "tendency," of habits, pursuits, etc.; 1640s as "state of being self-addicted," from Latin addictionem (nominative addictio) "an awarding, a devoting," noun of action from past participle stem of addicere (see addict). Earliest sense was less severe: "inclination, penchant," but this has become obsolete. In main modern sense it is first attested 1906, in reference to opium (there is an isolated instance from 1779, with reference to tobacco).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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addiction in Medicine

addiction ad·dic·tion (ə-dĭk'shən)
Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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addiction in Science
  1. A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol. In physical addiction, the body adapts to the substance being used and gradually requires increased amounts to reproduce the effects originally produced by smaller doses. See more at withdrawal.

  2. A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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