Definition of practice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpraktəs/


1The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use: the principles and practice of teaching he put his self-defense training into practice by helping police arrest the armed robber
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, it often appears that she is unable to get her free-market ideas put into practice.
  • The idea was put into practice last year but it was not until this term that it really took off.
  • However, Elliott warns that it still needs to be evaluated before the theory is put into practice.
1.1The customary, habitual, or expected procedure of something: current nursing practice modern child-rearing practices
More example sentences
  • It is expected to identify practices, procedures, and guidelines that will aid faculties in developing students to their maximum potential.
  • Woodrow Wilson instituted the modern practice of delivering it to congress in person.
  • The practice is expected to put huge strain on the state health budget.
formal praxis
1.2The carrying out or exercise of a profession, especially that of a doctor or lawyer: he abandoned medical practice for the Church
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • He figured he could always incorporate his flair for comedy into his practice as doctor.
profession, career, business, work
1.3The business or premises of a doctor or lawyer: Dr. Weiss has a practice in Essex
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
informal outfit
1.4An established method of legal procedure.
Example sentences
  • This conclusion is completely at odds with established legal practice and principles…
  • That the appellant notary acted in accordance with the then general notarial practice does not seem to be contested.
  • It is now established practice for judges to quash a conviction while suggesting that the appellants are not necessarily innocent.
2Repeated 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
More example sentences
  • It should be good practice for a repeat performance in March, when they go in front of the Commons' Culture Committee.
  • Like other skill development, intercultural skills are acquired through practice.
  • One of a pair of identical twins was given a lot of early practice at a particular skill, such as crawling.
training, rehearsal, repetition, preparation;
practice session, dummy run, run-through
informal dry run
2.1A period of time spent doing this: daily choir practices
More example sentences
  • Choir practices are held every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. in the church and all new members are welcome.
  • Swimmers have two practices daily grouped by age and ability.
  • The sample consisted of consecutive women attending the practices during time periods randomly selected for data collection.


[with object] (British practise)
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
More example sentences
  • He practices regularly to constantly improve his game though it looks like he has mastered the art of the game.
  • The students maintained a log of the various activities and skills they had practiced and the equipment they had encountered and mastered.
  • And we have lots of skills that they can practice in exercises that we set them.
rehearse, run through, go over/through, work on/at;
polish, perfect
train, rehearse, prepare, go through one's paces
2Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly: we still practice some of these rituals today
More example sentences
  • She practices a sophisticated method of starvation far beyond denial or purging.
  • In fact, both Australia and Carleton College already practice this voting method.
  • Not surprisingly, he lost several of his teeth practicing his unique method of steer wrestling.
carry out, perform, observe
2.1Actively pursue or be engaged in (a particular profession or occupation): he began to practice law [no object]: he practiced as an attorney (as adjective practicing) a practicing architect
More example sentences
  • ‘A true architect practices all three professions simultaneously,’ he explains.
  • He began his career practicing at law clinics set up by DePaul University, where he also taught for four years.
  • Together, we can celebrate our value and help our colleagues refocus their efforts on practicing our profession and not on keeping their jobs.
work at, pursue a career in
2.2Observe the teaching and rules of (a particular religion): they are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution (as adjective practicing) a practicing Roman Catholic
More example sentences
  • I don't know of any religion practicing in America today that preaches from the pulpit that what one should do is take from the least among us to give to those who have the most.
  • There the Sicilians were free to practice the folk religion of their villages.
  • For example, he discovered through discussions that family coherence was more important to him than the particular type of religion practiced.
2.3 [no object] archaic Scheme or plot for an evil purpose: what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive
More example sentences
  • As the poet once penned: ‘What a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive.’
  • Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive.
  • ‘O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive’.



in practice

In 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
More example sentences
  • It remains to be seen whether in practice the discretion is exercised lawfully.
  • There are four possible explanations for why performance data have so little influence in practice.
  • Thus imprisonment and the exercise of conjugal rights are incompatible in practice.
in reality, realistically, practically
1.1Currently 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • I'm just out of practice, or at least my legs are out of practice.
  • 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.’

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.
Example sentences
  • Repetition is the mother of skill, and practice makes perfect.
  • But practice makes perfect, and my vocal speech skills can always be bettered.
  • When an athlete is trying to hone his or her skills the cliché often used is practice makes perfect.

practice what one preaches

Do what one advises others to do.
Example sentences
  • But while whining about all this uncreative complaining would be the easy thing to do, it's better to practice what one preaches and find an instance where this construct works.
  • Today's greatly amplifies the need to truly practice what one preaches.



Example sentences
  • As we work to enable our students to become more successful practicers and performers, we always should remember: teach the student, not the subject.
  • His work ethic is such that he is in the pantheon of practicers.
  • A student who continues to ignore signposts such as fingerings often is not a careful practicer, and the teacher should work on practice skills with the student as well as practicing during the lesson.


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.

Words that rhyme with practice

malpractice, practise

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prac·tice

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