(3,379 words)

1. Concept

The term addiction (from the Latin addictus, “dedicated/devoted [to a thing]”) was originally a neutral equivalent to “penchant” or “inclination,” before acquiring its modern sense of inner compulsion in the context of opium in the 19th century. The German equivalent, Sucht (from the Gothic saühts, etymologically related to the English “sick”) is found in glossaries dat…

Cite this page
Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe, “Addiction”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 19 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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