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From Latin inveteratus (of long standing, chronic), form of inveterare, from in- (in, into) + veterare (to age), from vetus, form of veteris (old); latter ancestor to veteran.

Cognate to Italian inveterato.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈvɛtəɹɪt/
  • Rhymes: -ɛtəɹɪt
  • Hyphenation: in‧vet‧er‧ate
  • (file)


inveterate (comparative more inveterate, superlative most inveterate)

  1. firmly established from having been around for a long time; of long standing
    an inveterate disease
    an inveterate habit
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 1, ch. 3, "Manchester Insurrection":
      a Heaven's radiance of justice, prophetic, clearly of Heaven, discernible behind all these confused worldwide entanglements, of Landlord interests, Manufacturing interests, Tory-Whig interests, and who knows what other interests, expediencies, vested interests, established possessions, inveterate Dilettantisms, Midas-eared Mammonism.
    • 1911, Morrison I. Swift, "Humanizing the Prisons," The Atlantic:
      In Montpelier, where this prison stands, the inveterate prejudice against prisoners has been swept away.
  2. (of a person) Having had a habit for a long time
    an inveterate idler
    an inveterate smoker
    an inveterate traveller
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, ch. 45:
      [S]he offered kisses to a stranger so confidingly that the most inveterate bachelor relented.
  3. Malignant; virulent; spiteful.
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of morals, London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 15:
      A man of mild manners can form no idea of inveterate revenge or cruelty []
    (Can we find and add a quotation of H. Brooke to this entry?)


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Related terms[edit]



inveterate (third-person singular simple present inveterates, present participle inveterating, simple past and past participle inveterated)

  1. (obsolete) To fix and settle after a long time; to entrench.
    • 1622, Francis Bacon, The History of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh:
      "the vulgar conceived that now there was an end given, and a consummation to superstitious prophecies, the belief of fools, but the talk sometimes of wise men, and to an ancient tacit expectation which had by tradition been infused and inveterated into men's minds."
    • 1640, Edward Dacres, translation of The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, Chapter XIX [1]:
      "none of these Princes do use to maintaine any armies together, which are annex'd and inveterated with the governments of the provinces, as were the armies of the Roman Empire. "
    • 1851 January, author unknown, "The Philosophy of the American Union, in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, page 16:
      "The foregoing elements of disunion are inveterated by the constituent formation of our national legislature. In the French chambers the members are all Frenchmen ; but our members of Congress are effectively Georgians, New-Yorkers, Carolinians, Pennsylvanians, &c."

Derived terms[edit]






  1. feminine plural of inveterato





  1. vocative masculine singular of inveterātus