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1. Chronic alcohol abuse, dependence, or addiction; chronic excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages resulting in impairment of health and/or social or occupational functioning, and increasing adaptation to the effects of alcohol requiring increasing doses to achieve and sustain a desired effect; specific signs and symptoms of withdrawal usually are shown when one stops such drinking.
2. "Alcohol dependence" (currently the preferred term); "alcohol addiction".
The terms refer to a variety of disorders associated with the repetitive consumption of alcohol, usually over a long period of time, in amounts that the drinker is unable to handle physiologically, emotionally, or socially.
People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim.
alcoholism (s) (noun) (lexicomedy)