Definition of habit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhabət/


1A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up: this can develop into a bad habit we stayed together out of habit
More example sentences
  • Jen's got a bad habit of working too hard on something though.
  • I know it's a bad habit, eating sweets in he morning, but strawberry shortcake is my favorite food.
  • I have a bad habit of voicing my own true opinions.
custom, practice, routine, wont, pattern, convention, way, norm, tradition, matter of course, rule, usage
mannerism, way, quirk, foible, trick, trait, idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, singularity, oddity, eccentricity, feature;
tendency, propensity, inclination, bent, proclivity, disposition, predisposition
accustomed to, used to, given to, wont to, inclined to
1.1 informal An addictive practice, especially one of taking drugs: a cocaine habit
More example sentences
  • In undertaking crime to support their drug habits, cocaine and heroin abusers become likelier than usual to be arrested.
  • Most were young men, aged between 18 and 25, who were heroin and crack cocaine addicts funding habits through begging and crime.
  • A cocaine vaccine developed by a UK pharmaceutical company could help cocaine addicts kick their habit.
addiction, dependence, dependency, craving, fixation, compulsion, obsession, weakness
informal monkey on one's back
1.2 Psychology An automatic reaction to a specific situation.
Example sentences
  • Situational themes are specific habits and kinds of behavior that manifest character strengths in given situations.
  • ‘This keeps us from being pulled into destructive or automatic habits and responses,’ says Segal.
  • Certain situations, moods, habits, and memories can all be craving triggers, says psychotherapist Last.
1.3General shape or mode of growth, especially of a plant or a mineral: a shrub of spreading habit
More example sentences
  • As a general rule, the more upright the growth habit of the plant, the more likely it is you will need to build something.
  • The ideal form for a particular tree depends not only on your preferences, but also on the plant's natural growth habit.
  • Distance between camellia plants really depends on and will vary with growth habit of the species and cultivars you are planting.
2A long, loose garment worn by a member of a religious order or congregation.
Example sentences
  • Because I wore the habit of a religious order he saw me as a sort of expert, one who could get results.
  • Standing on a parapet of fictive marble, dressed in the brown habit of his order, St Francis gazes intently at a wooden crucifix held between his crossed hands.
  • In his last decade in Rome he lived in a home run by the Blue Nuns, an Irish order so called because of the color of their habit.
2.1 short for riding habit.
Example sentences
  • They had already done their tests but were still in their dressage habit.
  • Because of the necessary fabrics to make habits hang correctly, I usually charge between $400-975 to create one.
  • The old lady's habit, formed of stiff brocade, gives her the appearance of a squat pyramid, with a grotesque head at the top of it.
2.2 archaic Dress; attire.
Example sentences
  • The Sovereign was dressed in his traditional habit of silvery blue shirt and veil with a white long sleeveless tunic over top of white trousers.
  • He was dressed in his lordly habit, a black tunic over black trousers and a shimmering silver veil with matching wide sleeves.
garment(s), dress, garb, clothes, clothing, attire, outfit, costume
informal gear
formal apparel
3 archaic A person’s bodily condition or constitution: a victim to a consumptive habit


[with object] (usually be habited) archaic
Dress; clothe: a boy habited as a serving lad
More example sentences
  • She and her daughter, habited in their night clothes, had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned, which had been wheeled into the middle of the room.


break (or informal kick) the habit

Stop engaging in a habitual practice.
Example sentences
  • Drug orders are imposed on heroin users who steal to fund their habit and give them intensive support in efforts to kick the habit.
  • When a deacon ventured to speak to him about it, he just said he had gotten into the habit of starting late and it was hard to kick the habit.
  • Although he had been told to stop smoking, breaking the habit was too much for him.


Middle English: from Old French abit, habit, from Latin habitus 'condition, appearance', from habere 'have, consist of'. The term originally meant 'dress, attire', later coming to denote physical or mental constitution.

Words that rhyme with habit

Babbitt, cohabit, rabbet, rabbit

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hab·it

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