Skip to content

Addicting or Addictive | Difference Between Addicting or Addictive

Addicting or Addictive

The usage of “addicting” in place of “addictive” is a common issue that often sparks debates among language enthusiasts. While “addictive” is the more commonly accepted term, “addicting” is also used in informal writing and spoken English. The trend is to use “addicting” when referring to nonaddictive things that engender repeated indulgence, such as a TV show or a video game. However, there is no inherent error in using either term. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and style.

Part of SpeechAdjective/VerbAdjective
FocusAction causing addictionInherent quality causing addiction
Example Sentence“The series is addicting, with its cliffhangers at each episode’s end.”“The addictive rhythm of the song made it a hit on the charts.”

Difference Between “Addicting” and “Addictive”

Definition Of Addicting

Addicting: This term is often used as the present participle of the verb "addict," meaning to cause someone to become dependent on a substance or activity. It is sometimes used as an adjective in informal contexts, though this usage is less standard.

Definition Of Addictive

Addictive: Primarily an adjective, "addictive" describes something that has the quality of causing addiction, whether it be a substance, activity, or behavior.
addictive behavior

Origin Of Addicting

The term “addictive” originates from the late 19th century, derived from the word “addict” which comes from the Latin “addictus,” meaning ‘assigned’ or ‘surrendered.’ The sense of being compulsively devoted to a habit emerged later.

Origin Of Addictive

Addicting,” on the other hand, has seen more recent usage and is more colloquial in nature. It evolved from the verb “addict,” taking on an adjectival role in informal contexts.


  • Addicting: /əˈdɪktɪŋ/
  • Addictive: /əˈdɪktɪv/

Comparing Addicting and Addictive

To provide a clearer understanding of the difference between “addicting” and “addictive,” let’s compare them in a table:

AddictingInformal usage“I find video games addicting.”
AddictiveWidely accepted usageSome drugs are highly addictive.

As the table illustrates, “addicting” is commonly used in informal contexts, while “addictive” is the preferred term in more formal or professional discussions. It’s important to use the appropriate term based on the desired level of formality, as well as the specific connotations and associations you wish to convey.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use Of Addicting in Sentences

  1. The game was so addicting that I played it for hours.” (Informal usage as an adjective, describing the game’s ability to hold interest intensely.)
  2. “Her storytelling is addicting; you just can’t stop listening.” (Used metaphorically to describe a compelling quality.)
  3. “Social media platforms are addicting due to their interactive nature.” (Indicates the habit-forming aspect of social media.)
  4. The movie series has an addicting plot, keeping viewers eagerly waiting for the next release.” (Emphasizes the captivating nature of the movie plot.)
  5. “Finding new recipes has become an addicting hobby for many during the lockdown.” (Used to describe a habit that is enjoyable and hard to give up.)

Use Of Addictive in Sentences

  1. “Nicotine is a highly addictive substance.” (Describes the inherent property of nicotine causing addiction.)
  2. The addictive nature of gambling can lead to serious financial problems.” (Focuses on the characteristic of gambling that leads to dependency.)
  3. “Her voice has an addictive quality that mesmerizes her audience.” (Metaphorically describes the allure of her voice.)
  4. “Many video games are designed to be addictive to keep players engaged.” (Refers to the intentional design aspect aimed at creating dependency.)
  5. “The novel’s addictive storyline made it a bestseller.” (Highlights the compelling, habit-forming quality of the novel’s plot.)


In summary, while “addicting” and “addictive” are often used interchangeably, they do have distinct nuances. “Addictive” is the more standard adjective describing something inherently habit-forming, while “addicting” is often used informally to describe the action or effect of causing addiction. Understanding these nuances can enhance clarity and precision in language use.

Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Is “addicting” a proper word?
    • Yes, “addicting” is a proper word, often used informally as an adjective, though its standard form is as a verb.
  2. Can “addictive” and “addicting” be used interchangeably?
    • While they are often used interchangeably in casual speech, “addictive” is more appropriate for formal writing.
  3. Is “addicting” acceptable in academic writing?
    • In academic writing, it’s advisable to use “addictive” for precision and formality.
  4. Are there contexts where “addicting” is preferred over “addictive”?
    • “Addicting” might be preferred in informal, conversational contexts.
  5. How can I remember the difference between “addicting” and “addictive”?
    • Think of “addictive” as an inherent quality and “addicting” as the action or effect of causing addiction.


Is “addicting” a correct usage?

Yes, “addicting” is used in informal writing and spoken English, particularly when referring to nonaddictive things that engender repeated indulgence.

Can “addicting” be used as an adjective?

While “addicting” is primarily used as the present participle of the verb “addict,” it is also informally used to describe anything habitually enjoyable.

What is the correct adjective form: “addicting” or “addictive”?

What does “addictive” mean?

“Addictive” refers to substances, activities, or behaviors that are likely to lead to dependency or repeated indulgence.

Can you give examples of “addictive” usage?

Sure! Examples include sentences like “Most addictive substances are not good for your health” or “The Walking Dead is really addictive.”

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post on social!