habit


habit
habit n 1 Habit, habitude, practice, usage, custom, use, wont are comparable when they mean a way of behaving, doing, or proceeding that has become fixed by constant repetition. These words may be used also as collective or abstract nouns denoting habits, usages, or customs, considered as a directing or impelling force.
Habit refers more often to the way of an individual than to the way of a community or other group; the term applies to a way of behaving (as in acting or thinking) which has become so natural to one through repetition that it is done unconsciously or without premeditation
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he has formed the habit of fingering a coat button when he speaks in public

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break a bad habit

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habits acquired very early feel, in later life, just like instincts; they have the same profound grip— Russell

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it was her habit to write chatty letters to a number of politicians . . . discussing with them the maneuvers of politics— R. P. Randall

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we have two opinions: one private . . . and another one —the one we use — which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it— Mark Twain

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Habitude more often suggests an habitual or usual state of mind or attitude than an habitual response to a given stimulus
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I think, Pericles, you who are so sincere with me are never quite sincere with others. You have contracted this bad habitude from your custom of addressing the people— Landor

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the sense of fitness and proportion that comes with years of habitude in the practice of art— Cardozo

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Practice (see also practice n under PRACTICE vb) applies to a habit which is by its nature an act or a method which is followed regularly and often by choice
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it is his practice to rise early each morning and take a walk before breakfast

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it is the practice of this surgeon to give local anesthetics wherever possible

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the team made a practice of leaving their scenarios unfinished until actual production— Current Biog.

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Usage (see also FORM 3) applies mainly to a practice that has been so long continued and has been adopted so generally that it serves to guide or determine the action or choice of others
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it is the usage in certain European countries to breakfast on a roll and a cup of coffee

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the . . . inveterate usages of our country, growing out of the prejudice of ages— Burke

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makes it difficult... to earn a living in a business community without yielding to its usagesW. H. Hamilton

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Specifically, in reference to the meanings of words, grammatical constructions, and idiomatic forms where there is a difference of opinion, usage implies the long-continued and established practice of the best writers and speakers as the determining factor
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all senses of all words are founded upon usage, and nothing else— Paley

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Custom applies to a habit, practice, or usage that has come to be associated with an individual or a group by reason of its long continuance, its uniformity of character, and, sometimes, its com-pulsory nature
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it is his custom to smoke each evening after dinner

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in contemporary society it is not a fashion that men wear trousers; it is the customSapir

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is it the custom in your church for the minister to greet each member of his congregation?

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it is not the custom to speak from the floor before being recognized by the presiding officer

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Often custom denotes an established practice or usage or the body of established practices and usages of a community or of a people that has the force of unwritten law; thus, the English common law is based upon custom rather than upon legislation
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the answer, "It is the custom," is final for the savage, as for the lady of fashion. There is no other reason why they behave in a certain way— Inge

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Consequently, custom when used as a collective or abstract noun commonly implies a force as strong, as binding, and as difficult to escape as that exerted by those who enforce the law of the land
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and custom lie upon thee with a weight, heavy as frost, and deep almost as life— Wordsworth

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Use (see also USE n 1) commonly denotes an action, manner, rite, or practice that is customary to an individual or a particular group and distinguishes him or it from others
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more haste than is his useShak.

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it had been a family use ... to make a point of saving for him anything which he might possibly eat— Mary Austin

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change and turmoil ... are surface phenomena, while, underneath, life is an affair of use and wont and persists substantially unchanged— Moberly

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Wont usually applies to a habitual manner, method, or practice distinguishing an individual or group; it not only differs little from use except in its narrower range of application but is often coupled with use as a term of equivalent content
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the painter followed the religious use and wont of his time— Oliphant

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sad beyond his wontTennyson

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Renan . . . begins after the romantic wont by an outburst of sympathy and comprehension for the Parthenon and the Athenians and Pallas Athene— Babbitt

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Analogous words: instinct (see under INSTINCTIVE): convention, convenance, usage, *form
2 *physique, build, constitution
Analogous words: *body, carcass: *structure, anatomy, framework: figure, *form, shape: *outline, contour

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • habit — habit …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • habit — [ abi ] n. m. • XIIe; lat. habitus « manière d être », « costume » 1 ♦ Sing. Vieilli Pièce d habillement. ⇒ costume, vêtement. L étoffe d un habit. Habit de velours. 2 ♦ Plur. LES HABITS : l ensemble des pièces composant l habillement. ⇒ affaires …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Habit — • Habit is an effect of repeated acts and an aptitude to reproduce them, and may be defined as a quality difficult to change, whereby an agent whose nature it is to work one way or another indeterminately, is disposed easily and readily at will… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • habit — HABIT. s. m. Vestement, ce qui est fait exprés pour couvrir le corps humain, ce qui sert ordinairement à couvrir le corps humain. Habit d homme. habit de femme. habit decent, modeste. habit bien fait. habit mal fait. habit court. habit long.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Habit — Hab it (h[a^]b [i^]t) n. [OE. habit, abit, F. habit, fr. L. habitus state, appearance, dress, fr. habere to have, be in a condition; prob. akin to E. have. See {Have}, and cf. {Able}, {Binnacle}, {Debt}, {Due}, {Exhibit}, {Malady.}] 1. The usual… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Habit — may refer to: * Habit (psychology), an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically * Habituation, non associative learning in which there is a progressive diminution of behavioral response probability with repetition of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Habit — «Habit» Canción de Pearl Jam Álbum No Code Publicación 27 de agosto de 1996 Grabación …   Wikipedia Español

  • habit — [hab′it] n. [ME < OFr < L habitus, condition, appearance, dress < pp. of habere, to have, hold < IE base * ghabh , to grasp, take > GIVE] 1. Obs. costume; dress 2. a particular costume showing rank, status, etc.; specif., a) a… …   English World dictionary

  • habit — hȁbit (ȁbit) m DEFINICIJA dugačka muška haljina do gležnja sa širokim rukavima: 1. crkv. redovničko odijelo; halja 2. halja posebna oblika izrađena za određenu skupinu ljudi [sučev habit; rektorski habit; dekanski habit] ETIMOLOGIJA lat. habitus …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • habit — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż I, D. u, Mc. habiticie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} strój zakonny o kolorze i kroju obowiązującym w danym zakonie; suknia zakonna : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Habit zakonny, franciszkański. <łac.>{{/stl 10}}{{stl 18}}ZOB. {{/stl …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień


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