Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.


1. Firmly and long established; deep-rooted: inveterate preferences.
2. Persisting in an ingrained habit; habitual: an inveterate liar. See Synonyms at chronic.

[Middle English, from Latin inveterātus, past participle of inveterārī, to grow old, endure : in-, causative pref.; see in-2 + vetus, veter-, old; see wet- in Indo-European roots.]

in·vet′er·a·cy (-ər-ə-sē), in·vet′er·ate·ness n.
in·vet′er·ate·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Vanstone," answered this inveterately evasive and inveterately civil man.
It was striking of the children, at all events, to kiss me inveterately with a kind of wild irrelevance and never to fail--one or the other-- of the precious question that had helped us through many a peril.
In the second place, my brother-in-law's face was so inveterately and completely ugly as to set every artifice of pictorial improvement at flat defiance.
I knew what I was about, for I was aware of a little weakness of his, and of a little private sinning of which he was regularly and inveterately guilty.
I don't see why the romance--since you give it that name--should be all, as the French inveterately make it, for the women who are bad."
Rook was still too inveterately amiable to take offense.
False, superstitious, inveterately cruel-- but not mad.
"Upon my honor," cries Lady Janet, thinking, in her inveterately ironical manner, of the cares that trouble her, "all things considered, Tom, I wish I was You!"
When we reached the other end--the wide window, inveterately closed, connecting with the balcony that overhung the canal-- I suggested that we should remain there, as she would see the doctor arrive still better.
An inveterately vindictive woman, she had resolved to discover whatever compromising elements might exist in the governess's secret, and to make them public property (from a paramount sense of duty, of course) among her own circle of friends.
In this case, I was driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that hard law of life, which lies at the root of religion and is one of the most plentiful springs of distress.
He starts at chance noises as inveterately as Laura herself.