Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin habitus condition, character, from habēre to have, hold — more at give
Date: 13th century
1. archaic clothing
a. a costume characteristic of a calling, rank, or function <a nun's habit> b. a costume worn for horseback riding 3. manner of conducting oneself ; bearing 4. bodily appearance or makeup <a man of fleshy habit> 5. the prevailing disposition or character of a person's thoughts and feelings ; mental makeup 6. a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior <her habit of taking a morning walk> 7. a. a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance b. an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary <got up early from force of habit> c. addiction <a drug habit> 8. characteristic mode of growth or occurrence <a grass similar to Indian corn in habit> 9. of a crystal characteristic assemblage of forms at crystallization leading to a usual appearance ; shape Synonyms: habit, practice, usage, custom, wont mean a way of acting fixed through repetition. habit implies a doing unconsciously and often compulsively <had a habit of tapping his fingers>. practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice <our practice is to honor all major credit cards>. usage suggests a customary action so generally followed that it has become a social norm <western-style dress is now common usage in international business>. custom applies to a practice or usage so steadily associated with an individual or group as to have almost the force of unwritten law <the custom of wearing black at funerals>. wont usually applies to an habitual manner, method, or practice of an individual or group <as was her wont, she slept until noon>. II. transitive verb Date: 1594 clothe, dress
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.