Definition of habituation in US English:



  • 1The action of habituating or the condition of being habituated.

    • ‘The same excitatory process also appears to temporarily reverse long-term habituation.’
    • ‘Generally speaking, liturgical practices form persons in the same ways that any practice becomes formative: through habituation and extensive training until the practice becomes part or who one is.’
    • ‘Despite the apparent habituation resulting from years of living with abuse, as the joke implies, the pain has not gone unnoticed.’
    • ‘The drop in uptake and habituation is due to the decline in role of government/decmocratic institutions in society, aided and abetted by dominant political parties.’
    • ‘The concept of social persons, she argues, dialectically links subjective interiority to the social world by habituation.’
    • ‘However, in July 2001 data collection on the first mixed-species group had to be discontinued because of high levels of poaching in the area, which impeded the progress of habituation and systematic data collection.’
    • ‘However, taken together, the large number of empirical similarities suggests strongly that common processes contribute to habituation and extinction.’
    • ‘As the deforestation continues due to the increase in world population, the effect upon habituation is often significant.’
    • ‘This habituation prevents them from seeing new opportunities for growth.’
    • ‘I guess it will make for an interesting test of habituation.’
    • ‘There's no gradual habituation to the danger zones, only dangerous lunges into the unknown or nothing.’
    • ‘Social factors include habituation to sex with the partner, and unhappiness with the relationship.’
    • ‘This can lead to habituation, which in the long run can cause other problems like starvation, public safety risks, accident or death.’
    • ‘We noticed earlier that habituation is not the end but the beginning of the progress toward virtue.’
    • ‘If habituation were solely responsible for extinction, then conditions during extinction and not during acquisition would alter the speed of extinction.’
    • ‘It has never been as painstaking as this habituation process.’
    • ‘Perhaps it's not surprising to find evidence of taming cats and their habituation with human settlements at such an early date.’
    • ‘To be sure, Aristotle assigns an important role to the development of character through habituation.’
    • ‘Instead, lower level processes, such as habituation, may contribute.’
    • ‘She treats this habituation as entirely negative, since it's why we lose our appreciation of once-new pleasures.’
    adaptation, adapting, accustoming, accommodation, accommodating, acclimatization, reconciliation, inurement, habituating, familiarization, acculturation, naturalization, assimilation, assimilating, harmonization
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Psychology The diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus.
      • ‘Without entering the interval since manipulation as a covariate in the statistical analyses, the findings can have been seriously biased by differences in the duration of habituation to the novel morphology.’
      • ‘Use of vocalizations with the moving model is particularly effective in preventing habituation to the model alone.’
      • ‘One possible explanation for this finding is that long-term habituation accumulates with successive stimulus exposures and survives the lengthy time between trials.’
      • ‘During this habituation period, the licks on either lickometer were recorded but had no consequence.’
      • ‘After habituation they were presented with new displays containing either the same number of dots to which they had been habituated or the other number.’
      • ‘Almost every species studied, from amoeba to man, exhibits some form of habituation when the stimulus is frequently repeated or constantly applied.’
      • ‘I examined the magnitude of the aggressive response during a habituation phase that consisted of repeating the stimulus period as a continuous loop.’
      • ‘Evidence for this hypothesis comes from findings on a faster habituation of the electrodermal responses to tones in hypotensives.’
      • ‘Furthermore, habituation is relatively stimulus-specific, so that responses to the repeated stimulus are reduced but responses to different, novel stimuli are not.’
      • ‘If habituation does not occur to stimuli that are presented during extinction, then we would need to explain why it does not.’
      • ‘We analyzed data from only the first trial on each pair to minimize any effects of habituation.’
      • ‘Theories include a notion of autonomic nervous system dysregulation with an increased ‘tone’, slowed habituation and excessive response.’
      • ‘This system shows habituation - that is the response of the motor neurons to repeated stimulation of the sensory neurons decreases.’
      • ‘Other studies have suggested that arousal responses may be subject to habituation.’
      • ‘In contrast, much evidence that has been gathered in situations that differ strongly from renewal supports the stimulus specificity of habituation.’
      • ‘As a result, conditioned responding should decrease during extinction as habituation occurs to the stimuli that support conditioned responding.’
      • ‘Acute exposure to repetitive hypoxia has been shown to result in habituation that is expressed as a decreased frequency of arousal in response to the same stimulus.’
      • ‘We can use these simple behaviors and their habituation to ask the infant what she sees, hears, and can learn.’
      • ‘At first sight, it might seem that habituation is nothing more than some sort of fatigue process in the relevant sensory or motor neural pathways.’
      • ‘It is different from habituation in which an individual learns not to respond to a stimulus when no reinforcement follows.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘formation of habit’): from French or from Latin habitatio(n)-, from late Latin habituare (see habituate).