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Addict vs Votary vs Devotee vs Habitué

Addict, votary, devotee and habitué designate a person who by habit and strong inclination indulges in something or the pursuit of something.

Addict implies excessive, continuous, and often compulsive indulgence typically in harmful but sometimes in harmless things.

  • a drug addict
  • a detective-story addict

Votary and devotee retain some of the implications of their religious senses such as enthusiasm, often amounting to fanaticism, and zeal. They rarely suggest attachment to that which is degrading or debasing but they do not invariably imply attachment to that which is uplifting.

  • a votary of science
  • a devotee of vegetarianism
  • any worthy object of study, pursued disinterestedly . . . does not permit its votary to be very seriously narrowed by his zeal

Habitué implies frequent attendance at a place but it commonly also connotes habitual indulgence in a pleasure.

  • a habitué of the theater is a devotee of the drama
  • a habitué of a gambling house is a gambling addict