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See also: chronić


Alternative forms[edit]


From chronical, from Old French cronike, from Latin chronicus, from Ancient Greek χρονικός (khronikós, of time), from χρόνος (khrónos, time).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹɒnɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒnɪk


chronic (comparative more chronic, superlative most chronic)

  1. Of a problem, that continues over an extended period of time.
    chronic unemployment; chronic poverty; chronic anger; chronic life
    • 1980, Ruth Harriet Jacobs, Integrating Displaced Homemakers into the Economy, page 14:
      Peer group support is important to displaced homemakers. The Displaced Homemakers' Network has done excellent work in helping women see that their problems do not have to be chronic.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 8, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      It was a casual sneer, obviously one of a long line. There was hatred behind it, but of a quiet, chronic type, nothing new or unduly virulent, and he was taken aback by the flicker of amazed incredulity that passed over the younger man's ravaged face.
    • 2018 May 4, Tom English, “Steven Gerrard: A 'seriously clever or recklessly stupid' Rangers appointment”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Chronic mismanagement in the dugout and in the boardroom has meant the scale of the job now is as big as it has ever been.
  2. (medicine) Prolonged or slow to heal.
    chronic cough; chronic headache; chronic illness
  3. Of a person, suffering from an affliction that is prolonged or slow to heal.
    Chronic patients must learn to live with their condition.
  4. Inveterate or habitual.
    He's a chronic smoker.
  5. (slang) Very bad, awful.
    That concert was chronic.
  6. (informal) Extremely serious.
    They left him in a chronic condition.
  7. (slang) Good, great; "wicked".
    That was cool, chronic in fact.



Derived terms[edit]



chronic (countable and uncountable, plural chronics)

  1. (slang) Marijuana, typically of high quality.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:marijuana
    • 2006, Noire [pseudonym], Thug-A-Licious: An Urban Erotic Tale, New York, N.Y.: One World, Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 103:
      Pimp had been kicking it with one of the young jawns hanging around the apartment. She was real young and had bumpy skin and slum rings on every finger. She told us she was living next door with her grandmother while her mother was in jail, and she took us up to the roof to smoke some chronic.
  2. (medicine) A condition of extended duration, either continuous or marked by frequent recurrence. Sometimes implies a condition which worsens with each recurrence, though that is not inherent in the term.
  3. A person who is chronic, such as a criminal reoffender or a person with chronic disease.
    • 1895, Report of the Committee on Lunacy to the Board of Public Charities of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, page 9:
      Wernersvill asylum is now practically filled, and, as it is peopled with able-bodied chronics, there will be but little annual movement of patients.
    • 2001, Elizabeth Wright, A Brief Study Course in Homoeopathy, →ISBN, page 79:
      And then there were the chronics, not only those with marked pathology but life-long sufferers from "indigestion" or migraine, who had been passed around from doctor to doctor with nothing but temporary relief.
    • 2003, Philip Bean, Crime: Critical Concepts in Sociology, page 376:
      Of fifty-five boys scoring four or more, fifteen were chronic offenders (out of twenty-three chronics altogether) []
    • 2003, Lawrence W. Farris, Ten Commandments for Pastors New to a Congregation, →ISBN, page 59:
      Most congregations are full of wonderful people, but these chronics are also present in many churches. They come in three varieties -- the chronic havers of personal problems, the chronic complainers, and the chronic workaholics.
    • 2006, Eva Pattis Zoja, Abortion: Loss and Renewal in the Search for Identity, →ISBN, page 18:
      An Italian study (Francescato et al. 1979), which compared 137 women who had had more than one abortion with others who had aborted only once, revealed that the use of contraceptives was higher among the 'chronics', and that the contraceptives they employed were generally safer.




chronic (not comparable)

  1. chronic