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 condition or state of a person or thing, either natural or acquired, regarded as something had, possessed, and firmly retained; as, a religious habit; his habit is morose; elms have a spreading habit; esp., physical temperament or constitution; as, a full habit of body. [1913 Webster]

2. (Biol.) The general appearance and manner of life of a living organism. Specifically, the tendency of a plant or animal to grow in a certain way; as, the deciduous habit of certain trees. [1913 Webster +PJC]

3. Fixed or established custom; ordinary course of conduct; practice; usage; hence, prominently, the involuntary tendency or aptitude to perform certain actions which is acquired by their frequent repetition; as, habit is second nature; also, peculiar ways of acting; characteristic forms of behavior. [1913 Webster]

A man of very shy, retired habits. --W. Irving. [1913 Webster]

4. Outward appearance; attire; dress; hence, a garment; esp., a closely fitting garment or dress worn by ladies; as, a riding habit. [1913 Webster]

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

There are, among the statues, several of Venus, in different habits. --Addison.

5. Hence: The distinctive clothing worn commonly by nuns or monks; as, in the late 1900's many orders of nuns discarded their habits and began to dress as ordinary lay women. [PJC]

Syn: Practice; mode; manner; way; custom; fashion.

Usage: {Habit}, {Custom}. Habit is a disposition or tendency leading us to do easily, naturally, and with growing certainty, what we do often; custom is external, being habitual use or the frequent repetition of the same act. The two operate reciprocally on each other. The custom of giving produces a habit of liberality; habits of devotion promote the custom of going to church. Custom also supposes an act of the will, selecting given modes of procedure; habit is a law of our being, a kind of ``second nature'' which grows up within us. [1913 Webster]

How use doth breed a habit in a man! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

He who reigns . . . upheld by old repute, Consent, or custom --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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 — 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… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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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