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[in-vet-er-it] /ɪnˈvɛt ər ɪt/
settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, feeling, or the like:
an inveterate gambler.
firmly established by long continuance, as a disease, habit, practice, feeling, etc.; chronic.
Origin of inveterate
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin inveterātus (past participle of inveterāre to grow old, allow to grow old, preserve), equivalent to in- in-2 + veter- (stem of vetus) old + -ātus -ate1; cf. veteran
Related forms
inveterately, adverb
inveterateness, noun
1. hardened, constant, habitual. 2. set, fixed, rooted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inveterate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The stationmaster imparted the information to his wife; and that lady, an inveterate gossip, spread the news far and wide.

    Pincher Martin, O.D. H. Taprell Dorling
  • Yet his inveterate surliness the rascal could not wholly conquer.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • An inveterate gambler, but a great sportsman, no one could have been more loyal to his Company than Jock.

  • She seems so inveterate too; she'll not give you up, very probably.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • Austria, on the other hand, had been an old and inveterate rival of France in the race for territorial extension.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
British Dictionary definitions for inveterate


long established, esp so as to be deep-rooted or ingrained: an inveterate feeling of hostility
(prenominal) settled or confirmed in a habit or practice, esp a bad one; hardened: an inveterate smoker
(obsolete) full of hatred; hostile
Derived Forms
inveteracy, inveterateness, noun
inveterately, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin inveterātus of long standing, from inveterāre to make old, from in-² + vetus old
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 inveterate

late 14c., from Latin inveteratus "of long standing, chronic," past participle of inveterare "become old in," from in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + veterare "to make old," from vetus (genitive veteris) "old" (see veteran).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inveterate in Medicine

inveterate in·vet·er·ate (ĭn-vět'ər-ĭt)

  1. Firmly and long established; deep-rooted.

  2. Persisting in an ingrained habit; habitual.

in·vet'er·a·cy (-ər-ə-sē) or in·vet'er·ate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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