Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect (physical dependence), or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. Mayo Clinic Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing. Wikipedia: A medical condition in which someone frequently drinks too much alcohol and becomes unable to live a normal and healthy life From: http://www.drugabuse.gov The definition of alcoholism is when you have signs of physical addiction to alcohol and continues to drink, despite problems with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities. Alcohol may control your life and relationships. MedLine Plus Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psycho-social, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) The definition of alcoholism for the clinicians varies only a little more than slightly. The definition of alcoholism for the average person varies widely. To us it could be a disease or mental disorder but, it could also be a character defect or even a spiritual malady.
The definition of an alcoholic, on the other hand, is easy. An alcoholic is anyone who drinks noticeably and creates problems that irritate us.