Medical Dictionary

alcoholism al·co·hol·ism (āl'kə-hô-lĭz'əm)

  1. The compulsive consumption of and psychophysiological dependence on alcoholic beverages.

  2. 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.

  3. Temporary mental disturbance and muscular incoordination caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Also called acute alcoholism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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