Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.
  • n. An established disposition of the mind or character.
  • n. Customary manner or practice: a person of ascetic habits.
  • n. An addiction, especially to a narcotic drug.
  • n. Physical constitution.
  • n. Characteristic appearance, form, or manner of growth, especially of a plant or crystal.
  • n. A distinctive dress or costume, especially of a religious order.
  • n. A riding habit.
  • transitive v. To clothe; dress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An action done on a regular basis.
  • n. An action performed repeatedly and automatically, usually without awareness.
  • n. A long piece of clothing worn by monks and nuns.
  • n. A piece of clothing worn uniformly for a specific activity.
  • n. Customary manner of dress.
  • n. An addiction.
  • v. To clothe.
  • v. To inhabit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The usual condition or state of a person or thing, either natural or acquired, regarded as something had, possessed, and firmly retained; ; esp., physical temperament or constitution.
  • n. The general appearance and manner of life of a living organism.
  • n. 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; ; also, peculiar ways of acting; characteristic forms of behavior.
  • n. Outward appearance; attire; dress; hence, a garment; esp., a closely fitting garment or dress worn by ladies.
  • n. The distinctive clothing worn commonly by nuns or monks.
  • transitive v. To inhabit.
  • transitive v. To dress; to clothe; to array.
  • transitive v. To accustom; to habituate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dwell; abide; reside.
  • 1. To dwell in; inhabit.
  • To fix by custom; accustom; habituate.
  • To dress; clothe; array.
  • n. A usual or characteristic state or condition; natural condition, attitude, appearance, or development; customary mode of being.
  • n. A usual or customary mode of action; particularly, a mode of action so established by use as to be entirely natural, involuntary, instinctive, unconscious, uncontrollable, etc.: used especially of the action, whether physical, mental, or moral, of living beings, but also, by extension, of that of inanimate things; hence, in general, custom; usage; also, a natural or more generally an acquired proclivity, disposition, or tendency to act in a certain way.
  • n. In logic, a character which can be separated from its subject, without the destruction of the latter.
  • n. External dress; particularly, the costume or dress regularly worn, or appropriate for a particular occasion, use, or vocation.
  • n. A costume worn by women when riding on horseback; a riding-habit.
  • n. The grade marked by this dress. Entering this grade involves almost entire seclusion from earthly things, and constant devotion to religious exercises. Most Oriental monks do not assume the great habit except at the approach of death, the greater number being vowed to the little habit only.
  • n. In Scotland, general report: as, by habit and repute a thief.
  • n. The grade marked by this dress. Those who wish to enter this grade have first to pass through the rhasophoria or novitiate. See great habit.
  • n. In petrography, the general appearance of a rock given by the texture and the mode, that is, the mineral composition. Rocks may have the same habit and not agree closely in composition.
  • n. A small piece of linen attached to a woman's collar at the back, designed to go under the neck of the dress and keep the collar in place.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an established custom
  • n. attire that is typically worn by a horseback rider (especially a woman's attire)
  • n. the general form or mode of growth (especially of a plant or crystal)
  • v. put a habit on
  • n. excessive use of drugs
  • n. a distinctive attire worn by a member of a religious order
  • n. (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition

Etymologies

Middle English, clothing, from Old French, clothing, behavior, custom, from Latin habitus, from past participle of habēre, to have.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French habit, from Latin habitus ("condition, bearing, state, appearance, dress, attire"), from habeō ("I have, hold, keep"); see have. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English habiten, from Old French habiter, from Latin habitāre, present active infinitive of habitō, frequentative of habeō ("I have, hold, keep"); see have. (Wiktionary)

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  • "6. The grade marked by this dress. Entering this grade involves almost entire seclusion from earthly things, and constant devotion to religious exercises. Most Oriental monks do not assume the great habit except at the approach of death, the greater number being vowed to the little habit only."

    --Century Dictionary

    January 5, 2011

  • If there is one universal law it is habit. Reality is perceived of by humans as constructed of, and totally dependent on habit. Only when things are going in their normal, habitual fashion do mortals consider life to be normal. When temporary deviations therefrom appear, men feel that circumstances have become UNreal.

    --Jan Cox

    May 22, 2007