Definition of habituate in US English:



  • Make or become accustomed or used to something.

    with object ‘she had habituated the chimps to humans’
    • ‘While following a peaceful cohort of females and young in a group habituated to humans, I noticed an adolescent female staring at me in a friendly way.’
    • ‘Animals were habituated to behavioral observation.’
    • ‘All birds had 10 days to habituate to the aviary.’
    • ‘Such quantification will also be important to determine whether some populations are able to habituate to at least low level disturbance or whether individuals and local populations differ in the degree of tolerance of disturbance.’
    • ‘Whether the people at the site were permanent residents or seasonal hunters is unclear, but to some investigators their mere presence indicates that people had already habituated to a cold climate.’
    • ‘In advance of the study, the animals were habituated to human observers in the colony.’
    • ‘Most dolphins are well habituated to small boats, allowing us to follow individuals for many hours.’
    • ‘The birds were fully habituated, and most copulations were observed at 5 m distance.’
    • ‘Females and males were habituated in their separate compartments for 15 min.’
    • ‘Two hours before testing, all subjects were habituated to room temperature.’
    • ‘The latter was used only on packs that had been followed for more than 9 months and were deemed habituated to observer presence at this critical time.’
    • ‘None of the experimental groups were habituated to human presence, and so it was impossible to ascertain which and how many individuals were responsible for the recorded calls.’
    • ‘Unlike other birds that live on the forest floor, trumpeters are not particularly shy and readily habituate to the presence of humans.’
    • ‘Cheetahs in this study were well habituated to vehicles.’
    • ‘Subjects were removed from their normal enclosures and habituated to the experimental setup for 3 days before the experiment began.’
    • ‘He added that more lengthy studies with fully habituated western gorillas are required to confirm that intergroup interactions are indeed typically peaceful.’
    • ‘During field studies that brought Sweet into daily contact with individuals of several species, he found that some male members of some species became habituated to his presence.’
    • ‘They have also become habituated to their feeding enclosures, an unsuitable habitat where they could not survive naturally in winter.’
    • ‘He said coyotes are ‘becoming habituated to humans and human environments, and adapting their behavior to ours.’’
    • ‘This park includes open lawns, mature oaks and maples, and a large population of gray squirrels, habituated to humans.’
    accustom, make used, adapt, adjust, attune, acclimatize, acculturate, inure, harden
    View synonyms


Late 15th century: from late Latin habituat- ‘accustomed’, from the verb habituare, from habitus (see habit).