What does habit mean?

Definitions for habit
ˈhæb ɪthabit

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word habit.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. habit, wontnoun

    an established custom

    "it was their habit to dine at 7 every evening"

  2. habit, usenoun

    (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition

    "owls have nocturnal habits"; "she had a habit twirling the ends of her hair"; "long use had hardened him to it"

  3. habitnoun

    a distinctive attire worn by a member of a religious order

  4. habitnoun

    the general form or mode of growth (especially of a plant or crystal)

    "a shrub of spreading habit"

  5. habit, riding habitnoun

    attire that is typically worn by a horseback rider (especially a woman's attire)

  6. substance abuse, drug abuse, habitverb

    excessive use of drugs

  7. habitverb

    put a habit on


  1. Habitnoun

    Hence: The distinctive clothing worn commonly by nuns or monks; as, in the late 1900's many orders of nuns discarded their habits and began to dress as ordinary lay women.

  2. Habitnoun

    (Biol.) The general appearance and manner of life of a living organism. Specifically, the tendency of a plant or animal to grow in a certain way; as, the deciduous habit of certain trees.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Habitnoun

    Etymology: habitus, Latin.

    I shifted
    Into a madman’s rags, t’ assume a semblance
    The very dogs disdain’d; and in this habit
    Met I my father. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    If you have any justice, any pity;
    If ye be any thing, but churchmen’s habits. William Shakespeare.

    Both the poets being dressed in the same English habit, story compared with story, judgment may be made betwixt them. John Dryden, Fables, Preface.

    The scenes are old, the habits are the same
    We wore last year. John Dryden, Indian Emperor.

    There are among the statues several of Venus, in different habits. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    The clergy are the only set of men who wear a distinct habit from others. Jonathan Swift.

    He hath a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    This is the last fatal step but one, which is, by frequent repetition of the sinful act, to continue and persist in it, ’till at length it settles into a fixed confirmed habit of sin; which being properly that which the apostle calls the finishing of sin, ends certainly in death; death not only as to merit, but also as to actual infliction. Robert South, Sermons.

    No civil broils have since his death arose,
    But faction now by habit does obey;
    And wars have that respect for his repose,
    As winds for halcyons when they breed at sea. Dryden.

    The force of education is so great, that we may mould the minds and manners of the young into what shape we please, and give the impressions of such habits as shall ever afterwards remain. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

  2. To Habitverb

    To dress; to accoutre; to array.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Present yourself and your fair princess
    Before Leontes:
    She shall be habited as it becomes
    The partner of your bed. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    Having called to his memory Sir George Villiers, and the cloaths he used to wear, in which at that time he seemed to be habited, he thought him to be that person. Edward Hyde.

    They habited themselves like those rural deities, and imitated them in their rustick dances. Dryden.


  1. Habit

    A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.The American Journal of Psychology (1903) defined a "habit, from the standpoint of psychology, [as] a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience." Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habits are sometimes compulsory. A 2002 daily experience study by habit researcher Wendy Wood and her colleagues found that approximately 43% of daily behaviors are performed out of habit. New behaviours can become automatic through the process of habit formation. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns which humans repeat become imprinted in neural pathways, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.When behaviors are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. This increases the automaticity of the behavior in that context. Features of an automatic behavior are all or some of: efficiency; lack of awareness; unintentionality; and uncontrollability.


  1. habit

    A habit is a routine or behavior that is regularly repeated and becomes ingrained over time, often done unconsciously or with little thought. It is typically developed through repetition and can be both beneficial or detrimental, depending on the nature of the habit and its impact on an individual's life.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Habitnoun

    the usual condition or state of a person or thing, either natural or acquired, regarded as something had, possessed, and firmly retained; as, a religious habit; his habit is morose; elms have a spreading habit; esp., physical temperament or constitution; as, a full habit of body

  2. Habitnoun

    the general appearance and manner of life of a living organism

  3. Habitnoun

    fixed or established custom; ordinary course of conduct; practice; usage; hence, prominently, the involuntary tendency or aptitude to perform certain actions which is acquired by their frequent repetition; as, habit is second nature; also, peculiar ways of acting; characteristic forms of behavior

  4. Habitnoun

    outward appearance; attire; dress; hence, a garment; esp., a closely fitting garment or dress worn by ladies; as, a riding habit

  5. Habitnoun

    to inhabit

  6. Habitnoun

    to dress; to clothe; to array

  7. Habitnoun

    to accustom; to habituate. [Obs.] Chapman

  8. Etymology: [OE. habiten to dwell, F. habiter, fr. L. habitare to have frequently, to dwell, intens. fr. habere to have. See Habit, n.]


  1. Habit

    Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. In the American Journal of Psychology it is defined in this way: "A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience." Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviours become automatic is habit formation. Examples of habit formation are the following: If you instinctively reach for a cigarette the moment you wake up in the morning, you have a habit. Also, if you lace up your running shoes and hit the streets as soon as you get home, you've acquired a habit. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways. But the good news is that it is possible to form new habits through repetition.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Habit

    hab′it, n. ordinary course of conduct: tendency to perform certain actions: general condition or tendency, as of the body: practice: custom: outward appearance: dress, esp. any official or customary costume: a garment, esp. a tight-fitting dress, with a skirt, worn by ladies on horseback.—v.t. to dress:—pr.p. hab′iting; pa.p. hab′ited.adj. Hab′ited, clothed, dressed.—ns. Hab′it-mak′er, one who makes women's riding-habits; Hab′it-shirt, a thin muslin or lace under-garment worn by women on the neck and shoulders, under the dress.—adj. Habit′ūal, formed or acquired by frequent use: customary.—adv. Habit′ūally.—v.t. Habit′ūāte, to cause to acquire a habit: to accustom.—ns. Habitūā′tion; Hab′itūde, tendency from acquiring a habit: usual manner; Habitué (hab-it′ū-ā), a habitual frequenter of any place of entertainment, &c.—Habit and repute, a phrase in Scotch law to denote something so notorious that it affords strong and generally conclusive evidence of the facts to which it refers; Habit of body, the general condition of the body as outwardly apparent: any constitutional tendency or weakness. [Fr.,—L. habitus, state, dress—habēre, to have.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. habit

    The buffer of our feelings; the armor that protects our nerve-force; the great economizer of energy.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'habit' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4075

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'habit' in Nouns Frequency: #1126

How to pronounce habit?

How to say habit in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of habit in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of habit in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of habit in a Sentence

  1. George Dana Boardman:

    Sow an act...reap a habit Sow a habit...reap a character Sow a character...reap a destiny.

  2. Wendy Sue Swanson:

    It's not just early introduction. It's routine feeding. It's habituating. We need to make a habit of eating very diverse foods, it's a great habit to have your whole life, because 50 % of people who develop a food allergy develop it in adulthood.

  3. Octavia E. Butler:

    First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.

  4. Harry Reid:

    Since 2011 we have lurched from crisis to crisis with the country constantly under the threat of shutdown or financial catastrophe, it’s a very bad habit and the American people are very, very tired of it.

  5. T. S. Eliot:

    Any religion...is for ever in danger of petrifaction into mere ritual and habit, though ritual and habit be essential to religion.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for habit

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"habit." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/habit>.

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1 Comment
  • danielg.39682
    I need to form a learning habit in order to level up my English skills.
    LikeReply1 year ago

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a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
  • A. descant
  • B. huff
  • C. suffuse
  • D. exacerbate

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