Definition of practice in US English:

practice

noun

  • 1The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.

    ‘the principles and practice of teaching’
    ‘he put his self-defense training into practice by helping police arrest the armed robber’
    • ‘This is something that is far easier to state than to put into practice.’
    • ‘He said some recommendations had been put into practice while others were being implemented.’
    • ‘How is he able to put into practice what he preached?’
    • ‘The importance of this book lies in the fact that its author is concerned not just with ideas, but with actual practice.’
    • ‘Not only are they divisive, but they might actually either have to be put into practice, or they might have to be changed.’
    • ‘However, when lessons are learned in the abstract they are not as valuable as when put into practice, as we learned the very next day.’
    • ‘They worked hard, ran hard and trained hard, all the time trying to put into practice what their coaches were telling them.’
    • ‘There is no fancy stuff here; just straight accounting theory put into practice.’
    • ‘As for the possibility of these suggestions being put into practice, that stage has not yet been reached.’
    • ‘In the challenge of his new role he found an opportunity to put into practice theories which had long been forming in his mind.’
    • ‘The idea was put into practice last year but it was not until this term that it really took off.’
    • ‘Each camp featured league play in two divisions, where the campers put into practice what they had learned throughout the week.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it often appears that she is unable to get her free-market ideas put into practice.’
    • ‘However, Elliott warns that it still needs to be evaluated before the theory is put into practice.’
    • ‘The third stage is actually to put into practice what we have heard and what we have contemplated.’
    • ‘In practice, most are expected to be set up as master trusts.’
    • ‘We must again be aware of the gap between ideas and actual practice.’
    • ‘How does our habitual practice of everyday eugenics shape our view of the world and of creation?’
    • ‘It sounds like a good idea but theory and practice can be very different, as we have seen all too often before in this industry.’
    • ‘Army leaders at all levels should renew efforts to reduce the gap between stated beliefs and actual practice.’
    application, exercise, use, operation, implementation, execution, enactment, action, doing
    use, make use of, put to use, utilize, apply, employ, exercise, put into effect, put into operation, draw on, bring into play
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The carrying out or exercise of a profession, especially that of a doctor or lawyer.
      ‘he abandoned medical practice for the Church’
      • ‘Because of her focus on him, in her assessment of contemporary medical practice, she identifies the wrong problem.’
      • ‘At present, the list of colleges where doctors can qualify to practice is legislated under the Health Insurance Act.’
      • ‘I believe the most challenging aspect of all forms of medical practice is the need for, and the exercise of, judgment.’
      • ‘Until recently English courts have generally adopted the standard of accepted medical practice.’
      • ‘Once there the family found accommodation in Hindley Street where the doctor set up practice.’
      • ‘The motives of the doctor and the wider context of medical practice just aren't relevant.’
      • ‘Consideration should be given to removing the doctor from practice in such cases.’
      • ‘Once doctors entered practice, the profession was personally remunerative as well.’
      • ‘The expansion of medical practice into the regulation of behaviour carries doctors beyond their sphere of expertise and competence.’
      • ‘It accords completely with the constitutional requirements met by most of medical practice.’
      • ‘This problem will permeate every aspect of medical research and practice in the future.’
      • ‘The urge to bring down the edifice of medical practice seems to me to indicate the extent to which our expectations have been brought down already.’
      • ‘But the main thrust of correspondence focused on the future of a particular medical practice.’
      • ‘He figured he could always incorporate his flair for comedy into his practice as doctor.’
      • ‘He is a barrister and solicitor of this court, and he carries on the practice of his profession at the City of London.’
      • ‘Suffice it to say that this has not been my experience of the last 15 years of medical practice.’
      • ‘In a statement he admitted he plans to return to medical practice.’
      • ‘In good medical practice, the intention is to maximise the quality of life experienced by the patient.’
      • ‘We documented the preferences of a range of patients within one hospital, with the aim of informing doctors' practice.’
      • ‘After publication, he decided to leave anatomical research to take up medical practice.’
      profession, career, business, work, pursuit, occupation, following
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The business or premises of a doctor or lawyer.
      ‘Dr. Weiss has a practice in Essex’
      • ‘When and if you intend to foist 3,580 patients on to doctors in other practices, what will their reaction be?’
      • ‘And just like a doctors' practice, police hope the surgeries will prevent problems before they happen.’
      • ‘Both I, and my sister's family, attend husband-and-wife doctors' practices.’
      • ‘A trail-blazing super care centre that would move three doctors' practices and a clinic to one site is a backwards step, health bosses were told.’
      • ‘He sold his house to keep his medical practice going while he was away.’
      • ‘The doctor's practice in Settle has about 9,000 registered patients so we can't afford to be complacent.’
      • ‘Missed appointments at one doctors' practice in Keighley are costing £60,000 a year in wasted time.’
      • ‘He has now stopped his medical practice and is making use of his literary prowess to pen down useful material that is of some value to society.’
      • ‘Two of the groups consisted of doctors from different practices and one group comprised doctors from one practice.’
      • ‘When he was deputy governor he still ran his doctor's practice.’
      • ‘Our current building is the size now allowed for a two doctor, 4,000 patient practice, and clearly cannot cope.’
      • ‘Qualitative data showed that patients generally supported the teaching of student doctors in their practice.’
      • ‘It will call for improved career structures to be put in place to attract doctors to rural practices and for them to be given support to keep them in their jobs.’
      • ‘A self-contained extension to the rear previously served as a doctor's practice.’
      • ‘The only doctors' practice in Westbury is pressing ahead with plans to create three separate surgeries in the area.’
      • ‘Of course, some are plagued by such problems due to family difficulties, but, according to a survey among doctors' practices, many are there simply because they are over-burdened.’
      • ‘While the name of only one doctor may appear on the contract, there may be other doctors sharing his practice.’
      • ‘I have never been satisfied with this doctor's practice in the three years I have been there, and I really do intend to move.’
      • ‘But doctors claim many practices have been forced to change their booking systems to meet the targets.’
      • ‘Her reputation as a hardworking lawyer saw her practice grow, making her one of the five leading attorneys in Houston.’
      business, firm, office
      View synonyms
  • 2The customary, habitual, or expected procedure or way of doing of something.

    ‘current nursing practice’
    count noun ‘modern child-rearing practices’
    • ‘With the help of scanning technology and just-in-time inventory systems, businesses changed their practices.’
    • ‘Every morning the Indian flag is ceremonially hoisted on a central flagpole, an unusual practice for businesses here.’
    • ‘The Federal Trade Commission handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices.’
    • ‘The practice was possibly carried over from a similar arrangement in Massachusetts.’
    • ‘The businessmen also felt uncertain about the government's capability to enforce the law to ensure they were not hurt financially by unfair business practices.’
    • ‘The practice is expected to put huge strain on the state health budget.’
    • ‘‘By ignoring ethical business practices, small businesses are missing a trick,’ he said.’
    • ‘This practice would carry on through the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini space programs.’
    • ‘However, they have continued to carry out this practice and it's a continued difficulty.’
    • ‘‘The reason the magazine failed was not a failure of the message so much as lousy business practices,’ said Grace.’
    • ‘Lobby your MP, otherwise our silence will allow this barbaric practice to carry on.’
    • ‘They also dealt with some topics on unethical practices in business.’
    • ‘We have been effective in changing cultural practices in businesses.’
    • ‘Woodrow Wilson instituted the modern practice of delivering it to congress in person.’
    • ‘The whiff of fraudulent business practices will linger.’
    • ‘A strict code of practice is followed when carrying these out to protect the interests of the young person.’
    • ‘He said admitting more patients for a short time was good medical practice, to allow doctors to make a diagnosis and provide treatment more quickly.’
    • ‘It is expected to identify practices, procedures, and guidelines that will aid faculties in developing students to their maximum potential.’
    • ‘The point is to protect the consumer from predatory business practices.’
    • ‘It's common practice for Hollywood to remake an old movie, but today's news must be some kind of record.’
    custom, procedure, policy, convention, tradition, fashion, habit, wont, method, system, routine, institution, way, rule
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 An established method of legal procedure.
      • ‘This conclusion is completely at odds with established legal practice and principles…’
      • ‘It is the universal practice in conveyancing that enquiries as to licences would have been made.’
      • ‘That the appellant notary acted in accordance with the then general notarial practice does not seem to be contested.’
      • ‘Conveyancing practice is plainly a matter within the knowledge of the courts.’
      • ‘It is now established practice for judges to quash a conviction while suggesting that the appellants are not necessarily innocent.’
  • 3Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

    ‘it must have taken a lot of practice to become so fluent’
    • ‘There was a ‘best dressed’ competition and lots of warm-up singing practice to kick the evening off.’
    • ‘We have to ride close to the trees and hold our horses there to share the experience, which is good practice for our riding skills.’
    • ‘She worked very very hard on developing her skills at swimming and put in a lot of practice and training before the Olympics.’
    • ‘The purpose was to demonstrate that knowledge could be acquired easily but skills came with practice.’
    • ‘Having little practice in the gymnastic skills, which I was forced to learn during my training, I fell flat on my back.’
    • ‘Thus, additional practice and greater skill mastery is recommended in preparation for night diving activities.’
    • ‘It takes much skill and practice to churn out terracotta articles.’
    • ‘Public speaking is a learned skill that requires practice, effort, and confidence building.’
    • ‘This game offers a great opportunity for practice of various motor skills.’
    • ‘Also, we wanted to determine whether modest practice would modify performance of either group.’
    • ‘The major element in such transformation was repeated practice of close order drill.’
    • ‘One of a pair of identical twins was given a lot of early practice at a particular skill, such as crawling.’
    • ‘As with any skill, practice and repetition are the keys to confidence and competent performance.’
    • ‘It should be good practice for a repeat performance in March, when they go in front of the Commons' Culture Committee.’
    • ‘They are skilled manipulators who lie with the proficiency of long practice.’
    • ‘Specifically military skills were acquired by actual practice and performance under supervision.’
    • ‘In the weeks before a performance, practice can easily consume six hours a day.’
    • ‘Like other skill development, intercultural skills are acquired through practice.’
    • ‘Continued practice and performance should easily eliminate these.’
    • ‘Responsible believing is a skill that can be maintained only through constant practice.’
    training, rehearsal, repetition, preparation, exercise, drill, study
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A period of time spent practicing an activity or skill.
      ‘daily choir practices’
      • ‘He stays late at practice refining skills and stays late in the weight room and film room.’
      • ‘We constantly stress the sense of accomplishment they should carry away from practice.’
      • ‘A choir practice will take place in Woodfield church on this evening.’
      • ‘Choir practice for this ceremony will take place on Monday nights.’
      • ‘They have been rehearsing every weekend for the last three months, stepping up to daily practices for the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘Choir practice continues each Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm and new members would be most welcome.’
      • ‘You see, cheerleading here is a year round sport with practices almost every other day, sometimes more.’
      • ‘As expected, band practice takes up a nice, hefty chunk of their time.’
      • ‘And the past few months your practices have ran late!’
      • ‘She sharpens her skills at practice in preparation for a pair of weekend games.’
      • ‘Imagine the chagrin of a young team that has spent several practices learning a conventional offensive play only to meet this pattern.’
      • ‘He'd had basketball practice after school and had changed clothes before he came over.’
      • ‘Swimmers have two practices daily grouped by age and ability.’
      • ‘It has been decided to start a children's choir with practices commencing on Monday 10th October at 8pm and finishing at 8.30 pm.’
      • ‘They must have had some interesting choir practices.’
      • ‘There will be a choir practice in Ballylinan on Thursday night at 8pm, for both the folk group and the adult choir.’
      • ‘Choir practices are held every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. in the church and all new members are welcome.’
      • ‘Weekly choir practices take place in the parish church every Wednesday night at 8.00 pm.’
      • ‘The sample consisted of consecutive women attending the practices during time periods randomly selected for data collection.’
      • ‘All three groups are provided the opportunity to do two-a-day practices during the summer months.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency.

    ‘I need to practice my French’
    no object ‘they were practicing for the Olympics’
  • 2Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

    ‘we still practice some of these rituals today’
    1. 2.1 Actively pursue or be engaged in (a particular profession or occupation)
      ‘he began to practice law’
      no object ‘he practiced as an attorney’
    2. 2.2 Observe the teaching and rules of (a particular religion)
      ‘they are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution’
    3. 2.3archaic no object Scheme or plot for an evil purpose.
      ‘what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive’

Usage

Care should be taken with the use of the words practice and practise as there are differences in British and US usage. Practice is the correct spelling for the noun in both British and US English and it is also the spelling of the verb in US English. However, in British English the verb should be spelled practise

Phrases

  • in practice

    • 1In reality (used to refer to what actually happens as opposed to what is meant or believed to happen)

      ‘in theory this method is ideal—in practice it is unrealistic’
      • ‘There are four possible explanations for why performance data have so little influence in practice.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen whether in practice the discretion is exercised lawfully.’
      • ‘These different layers of management in practice merge into each other.’
      • ‘The current one has proved to be rather unwieldy in practice and I shall be glad to consign it to history.’
      • ‘Well, you might say, that is all very well, but how does it translate in practice?’
      • ‘He argues that in practice researchers do not base their decisions about sample size on a single estimate of a variable.’
      • ‘Critics, however, argued that such contracts were unenforceable in practice.’
      • ‘But many of them only serve the slogan with their lips, and do not abide by it in practice.’
      • ‘Thus imprisonment and the exercise of conjugal rights are incompatible in practice.’
      • ‘While these travellers might not support globalism in theory, in practice it oozes from their every pore.’
      in reality, actually, in real life, realistically, practically, effectively
      View synonyms
    • 2Currently proficient in a particular activity or skill as a result of repeated exercise or performance of it.

  • out of practice

    • Not currently proficient in a particular activity or skill due to not having exercised or performed it for some time.

      ‘he was out of practice at interrogation’
      • ‘Obviously, I haven't gotten far yet: the oars are stiff and my arms sore, out of practice as they are.’
      • ‘He may find this hard work after having been out of practice for so long, but I suggest it will be good for him, and certainly for Australian journalism.’
      • ‘I'm just out of practice, or at least my legs are out of practice.’
      • ‘Maybe I got out of practice over the weekend, but I don't think so.’
      • ‘It had been a long, long, long time since I had kissed anyone, so my skills were probably way out of practice, but Jill didn't seem to care.’
      • ‘It was quite hard to get back into a once familiar groove of academic research, because now I have no library borrowing privileges and am out of practice with the convoluted argot in which the material is written.’
      • ‘In an article on the front page, the revelers were referred to as ‘long-suffering fans who are a little out of practice when it comes to celebrating a championship.’’
      • ‘The ones that have been on TV lately are out of practice and come across as lame.’
      • ‘This means that when finally offered the opportunity to speak, I'm liable to begin with apologising for being so out of practice, and then to start blithering unstoppably.’
      • ‘But being out of practice shouldn't change my way of seeing the world.’
      rusty, unpractised
      View synonyms
  • practice makes perfect

    • Used to convey that regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it, especially when encouraging someone to persist in it.

      • ‘Subsequently, she advises: ‘Draw like crazy; practice makes perfect.’’
      • ‘But practice makes perfect, and my vocal speech skills can always be bettered.’
      • ‘I'm auditioning for several big events this year, and practice makes perfect.’
      • ‘Note: if the batter is not staying together, add an egg; if it's too thin add flour, too thick, add milk - it may be necessary to adjust to get the best results - practice makes perfect, really!’
      • ‘When an athlete is trying to hone his or her skills the cliché often used is practice makes perfect.’
      • ‘Repetition is the mother of skill, and practice makes perfect.’
      • ‘But, working on the premise that practice makes perfect, he continues to improve and is entitled to feel he is the second best player in the world at the moment, even if his official ranking is fifth.’
      • ‘People say that practice makes perfect, but instead, every time I fail, I find I'm worse off the next time.’
      • ‘Remember that practice makes perfect, so kiss often and be kissed!’
      • ‘But if practice makes perfect, I'm better equipped for my next foray into self-discipline, which begins the day this column is published.’
  • practice what one preaches

    • Do what one advises others to do.

Origin

Late Middle English: the verb from Old French practiser or medieval Latin practizare, alteration of practicare ‘perform, carry out’, from practica ‘practice’, from Greek praktikē, feminine (used as a noun) of praktikos (see practical); the noun from the verb in the earlier spelling practise, on the pattern of pairs such as advise, advice.

Pronunciation

practice

/ˈpræktəs//ˈpraktəs/