Definition of practice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpraktɪs/


[mass 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 the recommendations proved too expensive to put into practice
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.
application, exercise, use, operation, implementation, execution, enactment, action, doing
use, make use of, put to use, utilize, apply, employ, exercise, put into effect/operation, draw on, bring into play
1.1The 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, pursuit, occupation, following
1.2 [count noun] The business or premises of a doctor or lawyer: Dr Apps has a practice in Neasham Road
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.
2The customary, habitual, or expected procedure or way of doing of something: product placement is common practice in American movies [count noun]: 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.
2.1An 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.
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
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, exercise, drill, study;
practice session, dummy run, run-through, try-out, warm-up
informal dry run
3.1 [count noun] A period of time spent practising an activity or skill: 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.


US spelling of practise.


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.



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
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, actually, in real life, realistically, practically, effectively
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 through 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

Regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient 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.


Late Middle English: from practise, on the pattern of pairs such as advise, advice.

Words that rhyme with practice

malpractice, practise

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: prac|tice

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