We examined 100 alcoholics who had had no alcohol for more than 21 days, 100 controls, and 50 patients with essential tremor. Three percent of the controls and 47% of the alcoholics had a postural tremor. Alcoholic tremor was never severe, and functional disability occurred in only 17% of patients. There was no relation to age or duration of drinking, and only 1% of the alcoholics had a family history of tremor compared with 46% in essential tremor. Tremor frequency was significantly greater in the alcoholics than in essential tremor. Propranolol therapy decreased tremor more in the alcoholics than in essential tremor. The tremor of chronic alcoholism differs from essential tremor.