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alcoholism

Definition of Alcoholism

(noun) A chronic disease caused by compulsive, dependent, and excessive consumption of alcohol, leading to deterioration of mental and physical health, as well as social and vocational functioning.

Alcoholism Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: al·co·hol·ism

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /Al-kuh-haw-liz-uhm/
  • British English – /Al-kuh-ho-li-zuhm/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈælkəˌhɑˌlɪz(ə)m/
  • British English – /ˈalkəhɒlɪz(ə)m/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: alcoholisms
  • Also called:
    • alcohol abuse
    • alcohol addiction
    • alcohol dependence
  • Historically called:
    • dipsomania
    • potomania
  • An (noun) alcoholic is addicted to alcohol.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Alcoholism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “alcoholism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 2, 2020 (http://sociologydictionary.org/alcoholism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

alcoholism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/alcoholism/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “alcoholism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 2, 2020. http://sociologydictionary.org/alcoholism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“alcoholism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 2 Jun. 2020. <http://sociologydictionary.org/alcoholism/>.