With reference to someone trying to break an addiction, what is a word that properly means to stop the behavior? While "break" and "kick" would be understood, they are more informal than desired. "Stop" gives a connotation of something that is easy to do, which is not what I want to convey.

2 Answers 2


Words like suppress and fight suggest more of a struggle against a certain behaviour, like in the case of addiction.

Also, overcome is a word commonly used to represent "kicking" an addiction.


"He finally overcame his alcohol addiction after fighting for three years."


"He fought to overcome his alcohol addiction and succeeded, after three years."

(Links to OED definitions)


"To surmount" would be a good choice. It sounds formal. Hearing it used in daily conversation would definitely catch one's attention. It makes me think of "to summit", as in "to summit a very tall mountain".

She surmounted her addiction.

  • Is your nom-de-stackexchange an ode to this guy?
    – GreenMatt
    Feb 28, 2017 at 18:43
  • @GreenMatt nope. I just wanted to combine 2 simple words with an easily identifiable demarkation. Since "..dgr.." is never be found inside one whole word, a breakpoint naturally forms. I'll youtube the show. I might need a new handle...
    – riverflows
    Feb 28, 2017 at 18:54
  • @GreenMatt Thanks for the heads-up. I decided I need a new handle.
    – riverflows
    Feb 28, 2017 at 19:01

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