American English

Definition of habit noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a thing that you do often and almost without thinking, especially something that is hard to stop doing You need to change your eating habits. good/bad habits He has the irritating habit of biting his nails. It's all right to borrow money occasionally, but don't let it become a habit. I'd prefer you not to make a habit of it. I'm not in the habit of letting strangers into my apartment. I've gotten into the habit of turning on the TV as soon as I get home. I'm trying to break the habit of staying up too late. These things have a habit of coming back to haunt you.
  2. 2[uncountable] usual behavior I only do it out of habit. I'm a creature of habit (= I have a fixed and regular way of doing things).
  3. 3[countable] (informal) a strong need to keep using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes regularly He began to finance his habit through burglary. She's tried to give up smoking but just can't kick the habit. a 50-a-day habit
  4. 4[countable] a long piece of clothing worn by a monk or nun
  5. Idioms
    force of habit
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    if you do something from or out of force of habit, you do it automatically and in a particular way because you have always done it that way in the past It's force of habit that gets me out of bed at 6:15 each morning.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: habit