Dictionary > Alcoholic

Alcoholic

Definition
adjective
(chemistry) Relating to, containing, or produced by alcohol
(pathology) Of, relating to, or pertaining to alcoholism
(pathology) One who abuses or is dependent upon alcohol
Supplement
In chemistry, the term alcoholic is used as a descriptive word that relates to alcohol. Alcohol is an organic compound with a hydroxyl functional group bound to a saturated carbon atom.1 These are ethanol, methanol (wood alcohol), isopropyl alcohol, butanol, pentanol, glycerol, xylitol, mannitol, volemitol, alicyclic alcohols, etc.
Previously, ethanol is simply called alcohol. This is because ethanol is an active ingredient in alcoholic beverages and eventually, the word alcohol has become a common term for any alcoholic beverages. Thus, the word alcoholic is used to pertain or associate with alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrollable and prolonged period of consumption of alcoholic beverages leading to addiction. For instance, the term alcoholic ataxia is the loss of coordination in voluntary movements due to peripheral neuritis from alcoholism. Another is when pertaining to an individual suffering from alcoholism.
Related term(s):

Reference(s):

1 IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the “Gold Book”) (1997). Online corrected version: (2006–) “Alcohols”.


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