Definition of habit in English:

habit

Video: a look at habit

noun

  • 1A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

    ‘he has an annoying habit of interrupting me’
    ‘good eating habits’
    mass noun ‘we stayed together out of habit’
    • ‘New research on the listening habits of music fans has revealed that many now plug in their ear-phones out of habit rather than for enjoyment.’
    • ‘If there is a bad habit I should get rid of I guess it would be to stop criticizing people.’
    • ‘People have a bad habit of comparing space travel with air travel.’
    • ‘I have a bad habit of saying yes, if you can call that a bad habit.’
    • ‘All groups maintained their regular eating habits over the 12 weeks.’
    • ‘Yes, if you hadn't noticed yet, Pat had a bad habit of swearing regularly.’
    • ‘Riddled with guilt, I told her it was a bad habit and that I was going to stop.’
    • ‘It twists your stomach into knots and forces you to abandon any regular eating habits.’
    • ‘With dinner party after dinner party, it's difficult to not stray from your regular eating habits.’
    • ‘Jen's got a bad habit of working too hard on something though.’
    • ‘I had a bad habit of aggravating people; perhaps it was because they couldn't classify me.’
    • ‘I know it's a bad habit, eating sweets in he morning, but strawberry shortcake is my favorite food.’
    • ‘I have a bad habit of staying in bed till the last minute and then scurrying about in the morning, rushing to get to whatever my first appointment of the day is.’
    • ‘I have a bad habit of voicing my own true opinions.’
    • ‘I have a bad habit of not closing the blinds properly or forgetting that the curtains are open.’
    • ‘I watched a ton of television as a kid, so I have a bad habit of getting sucked into shows for hours.’
    • ‘I have a bad habit of going on trips and never recording my impressions of the places I've been too.’
    • ‘The increase in childhood obesity is also largely due to eating and exercise habits rather than a tendency toward low fat diets.’
    • ‘Our cat has developed an annoying habit of standing on people's faces during the night.’
    • ‘It is true the consequences of such a bad habit are severe.’
    practice, custom, pattern, routine, style, convention, policy, wont, way, manner, mode, norm, tradition, matter of course, rule, usage
    mannerism, quirk, characteristic gesture, characteristic, foible, trick
    accustomed to, used to, given to, habituated to, addicted to, no stranger to, not new to
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    1. 1.1informal An addictive practice, especially one of taking drugs.
      ‘a cocaine habit’
      • ‘Even when the staff was accustomed to a very direct and friendly relationship with most clients, the work did not interfere in their drug habits or related lifeways.’
      • ‘However, the overall use of the drug will endure for some time as a generation of drug users continues its habit.’
      • ‘They heard from victims of crime undertaken to fund drug habits, families of drug addicts, former addicts, police and many of the organisation which exist to help addicts.’
      • ‘Officers say most burglars are heroin or crack addicts who need cash to feed their drug habits.’
      • ‘It was a shock for Sherrie to find herself out on her own and with a drug habit.’
      • ‘They can't control their addictions and habits.’
      • ‘Now, years later, he had rediscovered his past habit after the drug related death of his addict father.’
      • ‘I am at risk of robbery and muggings by people desperate to maintain their drug habit.’
      • ‘Most were young men, aged between 18 and 25, who were heroin and crack cocaine addicts funding habits through begging and crime.’
      • ‘It got to the stage were I was really desperate - shoplifting everyday, robbing all the time, selling drugs to fund my habit.’
      • ‘A cocaine vaccine developed by a UK pharmaceutical company could help cocaine addicts kick their habit.’
      • ‘Do drug users commit property crimes to support their drug habits?’
      • ‘Burglary has traditionally been a quick and easy way for drug addicts to fund their habits.’
      • ‘For example, as a result of their lower overall economic status, many addicted women turn to prostitution as a means of supporting their drug habit.’
      • ‘Or, as one parent put it, an addict is never cured of the drug habit, they are only in remission.’
      • ‘A heroin and cocaine addict who preyed on elderly women to feed his drugs habit has been jailed for three years.’
      • ‘He was a former heroin addict who had stolen the televisions to fund his drug habit and to feed and clothe his family.’
      • ‘Then there is the argument from the ill-informed that young people turn to crime to feed their drug habit.’
      • ‘Roof after roof has been entirely stripped of tiles - residents claim addicts have sold them to pay for their drug habit.’
      • ‘In undertaking crime to support their drug habits, cocaine and heroin abusers become likelier than usual to be arrested.’
      addiction, dependence, dependency, craving, fixation, compulsion, obsession, weakness
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    2. 1.2Psychology An automatic reaction to a specific situation.
      • ‘It also depends on the dog's behavioral habits and the owner's lifestyle.’
      • ‘It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language too, a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental.’
      • ‘‘This keeps us from being pulled into destructive or automatic habits and responses,’ says Segal.’
      • ‘He believed the goal of education is to make useful habits automatic.’
      • ‘Certain situations, moods, habits, and memories can all be craving triggers, says psychotherapist Last.’
      • ‘The reason for this blinkered view is nothing other than the mere habit of thought.’
      • ‘Human health is heavily dependent on lifestyle habits and environmental conditions.’
      • ‘Second, will online technologies change poor lifestyle habits when other media efforts have failed?’
      • ‘To describe habits as automatic diminishes the force of the voluntary condition of the concept less than to state that they are mechanical.’
      • ‘As Claire was fond of telling me, I had a habit of reducing every situation to the worst-case scenario.’
      • ‘As I reviewed the circumstances leading up to this event, I noticed how some of my habits made this situation worse than it needed to be.’
      • ‘You remind yourself that these thoughts are being generated out of a mental habit.’
      • ‘Is it cognitive behavioral therapy, which reconfigures thinking patterns and habits?’
      • ‘Temptation is the intensity of urges to engage in a specific habit in the midst of a difficult situation.’
      • ‘They take the place of habits until the new behaviors lose some of their unpleasantness and become more attractive in their own right.’
      • ‘Situational themes are specific habits and kinds of behavior that manifest character strengths in given situations.’
      • ‘Sleep organizes the memories of habits, actions, and skills learned during the day.’
      • ‘In addition, psychotherapy can help patients learn new coping styles and interpersonal habits.’
      • ‘Recognizing abnormalities by viewing videotapes and improving speech habits with the help of a therapist are two effective methods of treatment.’
      • ‘A great deal of modern social and clinical psychology took shape through the study of food habits.’
    3. 1.3mass noun General shape or mode of growth, especially of a plant or a mineral.
      ‘a shrub of spreading habit’
      • ‘Most have a rounded, spreading growth habit; some cultivars have weeping forms.’
      • ‘Differences in morphology, growth habit, adult plant height, spike size, and development of spikes at nodes were observed.’
      • ‘Proper pruning results from becoming familiar with the growth habit of a particular type.’
      • ‘Plants that have a compact growth habit or those that adapt well to having their roots confined can be grown in containers almost indefinitely.’
      • ‘Further investigations of the effects of these changes in nutrient concentrations and growth habit is required to assess the implications on plant performance.’
      • ‘This results in a natural trailing growth habit that lets them cascade beautifully over the edges of their containers.’
      • ‘Here are 10 herbs notable for their consistent, compact growth habit and strong flavor.’
      • ‘Although described as of trailing or twining habit, my plants have grown upright, with neat stiff stems that need no support.’
      • ‘The bushes have an aggressive growth habit and can easily reach a height of 6 feet.’
      • ‘The plant grows upright with a slight spreading habit.’
      • ‘There are hundreds of varieties of very fragrant roses, and they come in every color, every growth habit and every classification.’
      • ‘Because of their lanky growth habit, Japanese plums do best kept to an open or pyramidal frame.’
      • ‘The ideal form for a particular tree depends not only on your preferences, but also on the plant's natural growth habit.’
      • ‘It has excellent fall color, and the plant habit is spreading and mounded.’
      • ‘Distance between camellia plants really depends on and will vary with growth habit of the species and cultivars you are planting.’
      • ‘The basis of our experiments was that growth habit of defoliated plants would affect how they compensated for lost leaf area.’
      • ‘It has beautiful purple flowers and appears to have a shrub-type growth habit.’
      • ‘Vegetables are judged on how quick they are to produce as well as on yield, taste, quality, plant habit and pest and disease resistance.’
      • ‘As a general rule, the more upright the growth habit of the plant, the more likely it is you will need to build something.’
      • ‘A sprawling growth habit is common throughout all varieties.’
  • 2A long, loose garment worn by a member of a religious order.

    ‘nuns in long brown habits, black veils, and sandals’
    • ‘Francis and the friars are costumed in simple gray habits (the chorus is dressed similarly).’
    • ‘A label was developed for the easy, medium dry style of young white wine sold in inns throughout Germany which initially showed several nuns in brown habits against a bright blue sky.’
    • ‘Because I wore the habit of a religious order he saw me as a sort of expert, one who could get results.’
    • ‘In his last decade in Rome he lived in a home run by the Blue Nuns, an Irish order so called because of the color of their habit.’
    • ‘He donned the traditional brown Franciscan habit and sandals and took the name of his patron, St. Francis Solanus.’
    • ‘Standing on a parapet of fictive marble, dressed in the brown habit of his order, St Francis gazes intently at a wooden crucifix held between his crossed hands.’
    • ‘She has a lurid past of big yellow puffa skirts, fake orange tan and nun's habit dresses.’
    • ‘The order dropped its habits after the Vatican II council and required that Ochoa wear a white outfit only during prayers at one of the members' homes.’
    • ‘Walking out of the nunnery was Sister Elizabeth, dressed in full habit, using a wooden cane to get down the sidewalk easier.’
    • ‘On entry they were formally vested in a monastic habit, and wore a distinctive cap so that they were at once identifiable in the street.’
    • ‘He wore one of those long brown monk habits accented with beads and rope, and sported a Friar Tuck-like haircut - the bowl cut.’
    1. 2.1
      short for riding habit
      • ‘The old lady's habit, formed of stiff brocade, gives her the appearance of a squat pyramid, with a grotesque head at the top of it.’
      • ‘Because of the necessary fabrics to make habits hang correctly, I usually charge between $400-975 to create one.’
      • ‘They had already done their tests but were still in their dressage habit.’
    2. 2.2archaic mass noun Clothes.
      ‘in the vile habit of a village slave’
      • ‘The Sovereign was dressed in his traditional habit of silvery blue shirt and veil with a white long sleeveless tunic over top of white trousers.’
      • ‘He was dressed in his lordly habit, a black tunic over black trousers and a shimmering silver veil with matching wide sleeves.’
      • ‘They were clothed in the Dominican habit at a special Mass in the church which was attended by their family and friends.’
      • ‘The series in fact comprises only two: one in the form of a monk's habit and cowl, and one depicting a pin-striped business suit and tie.’
      garment, outfit, robe, costume, uniform, attire, dress, garb, clothes, clothing, garments
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  • 3archaic A person's health or constitution.

    ‘a victim to a consumptive habit’

verb

be habited
archaic
  • Be dressed or clothed.

    ‘a boy habited as a serving lad’
    • ‘She and her daughter, habited in their night clothes, had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned, which had been wheeled into the middle of the room.’
    dressed, clothed, dressed up, fitted out, garbed, arrayed, decked out, turned out, tricked up, costumed
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Phrases

  • force of habit

    • The tendency for something done very frequently to become automatic.

      ‘he checks his appearance out of force of habit’
      • ‘I found myself, through force of habit, walking home after school to the Ginney Block, forgetting that I no longer lived there.’
      • ‘I keep hitting the button by force of habit.’
      • ‘By force of habit I walked up the parade route, counter to the direction of the participants, until I reached the point where the bands convened to begin their march.’
      • ‘I did keep looking at my watch, though—force of habit.’
      • ‘All the play was gone from her actions and she just did them now from force of habit.’
      • ‘She will still be living in the area and says that she will still pop into the office from time to time for a coffee, and will, from force of habit, probably keep an eye on what's going on.’
      • ‘Youngsters will take up new technology, but old dogs like me will continue to take their daily paper out of sheer force of habit.’
      • ‘"I believe the biggest obstacles to an environmental tax shift are ignorance and force of habit," he says.’
      • ‘She's worked so many hours she can't see the road in front of her but keeps it all going out of force of habit and knowledge of her section of road.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French abit, habit, from Latin habitus ‘condition, appearance’, from habere ‘have, consist of’. The term originally meant ‘dress, attire’, later coming to denote physical or mental constitution.

Pronunciation

habit

/ˈhabɪt/