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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.


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chronic (adj) (of illnesses) prolonged and incurable; (of patients) having had an illness for a long time; (of habits) lasting a long time, and perhaps never-ending.

With reference to an illness, chronic means, troubling a patient for a long time, and incurable. Asthma, diabetes, etc., are chronic conditions, that is, once a person contracts them, they trouble them for a long time, and are incurable. A chronic illness usually is neither curable, nor do they kill the patient immediately. Having had a disease for a long time is also chronic. He is a chronic arthritic means that he has been suffering from the disease for a long time. That she suffers from a chronic headache means, she has had a headache for quite a long time, and perhaps will continue to have it. Chronic is also used with reference to conditions and habits. For example, a chronic gambler is one who cannot give up gambling. So is a chronic alcoholic, one who cannot give up alcohol.

  • Euthanasia, or mercy killing, is an important question raised in connection with chronic and painful ailments. Patients suffering from them may rather prefer death to prolonged suffering.
  • Chronic ailments make persons suffer hell on earth; they keep the patients in a state of the living dead.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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