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variant of -aholic: chocoholic.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -holic mean?

The combining formholic is used like a suffix meaning “a person who has an addiction to or obsession with some object or activity.” It is occasionally used in slang and “nonce words,” that is, words coined and used only for a particular occasion.

The form –holic is derived from the ending of alcoholic, a sometimes offensive term for a person with alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. The term alcoholic and its derivations that use the form –aholic are sometimes considered offensive; referring to people with addictions as addicts or alcoholics reduces them to a label—one that has long connoted moral failure and weakness of character—and to a single trait. You can learn more about the recent changes we made to our definition of alcoholic here.

What are variants of –holic?

The form –holic is a variant of aholic, which loses its –a– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article on –aholic.

Examples of -holic

One example of a slang term that features the form –holic is chocoholic, “a person who is excessively fond of chocolate.”

The choco portion of chocoholic represents “chocolate.” The suffix –aholic means “a person who has an addiction to some activity.” Chocoholic therefore means “a person who has an addiction to chocolate.”

What are some words that use the combining form –holic?

  • aquaholic
  • coffeeholic
  • pornoholic
  • sodaholic
  • videoholic

What are some other forms that –holic may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that ends with the exact letters –holic, e.g., acholic or Catholic, is necessarily using the combining form –holic to denote “a person who has an addiction.” Learn why acholic means “lacking bile” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

Given the meaning of –holic, what kind of person could be described as a coffeeholic?

How to use -holic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -holic


suffix forming nouns
indicating a person having an abnormal desire for or dependence onworkaholic; chocoholic

Word Origin for -holic

C20: on the pattern of alcoholic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012