Definition of habit noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhæbɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhæbɪt//
    jump to other results
  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 got 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. Wordfinderaction, approach, attitude, behaviour, conform, eccentric, etiquette, habit, manners, morality
  2. 2  [uncountable] usual behaviour 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. Word OriginMiddle 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.Extra examples Don’t let eating between meals become a habit. Ellington’s work habits were a marvel to all. Even last year the nation’s eating habits changed significantly. He had an irritating habit of singing tunelessly about the house. He turned to crime to support his habit. Healthy lifestyle habits begin when you’re young. Horses are creatures of habit and like to have a daily routine. I found some of his personal habits rather disconcerting. I got out of the habit of getting up early. I had fallen into my old bad habit of leaving everything until the last minute. I had got out of the habit of going to the pub. I just did it from habit. I sat in my old seat purely out of habit. I’m trying to kick the smoking habit. It was a nervous habit she’d had for years. It’s hard to change the habit of a lifetime. Life has a nasty habit of repeating itself. Make a habit of noting down any telephone messages. Mental habits are not easily changed. Mr Norris bellowed from force of habit. Mr Norris woke up early from force of habit. Much of what we do in daily life is done by habit. She had been in the habit of drinking five or six cups of coffee a day. She has some very annoying habits. The children are developing unhealthy eating habits. The pills affected your sleeping habits. Try to get into good habits and eat regular healthy meals. You must break yourself of the habit. a difficult habit to break an effort to change the buying habits of the British public deeply ingrained habits of thought her charming habit of setting fire to cats one of his more endearing habits poor eating habits women’s television viewing habits I do it out of habit. I got into the habit of going there every night for dinner. I’d prefer you not to make a habit of calling late at night. I’m not in the habit of letting strangers into my apartment. It’s all right to borrow money occasionally, but don’t let it become a habit. The majority of smokers want to give up the habit. Try to break the habit of of adding salt at the table. When it comes to clothes, men are creatures of habit.Idioms 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 American Dictionary entry: habit