Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To accustom by frequent repetition or prolonged exposure.
  • intransitive verb To cause physiological or psychological habituation, as to a drug.
  • intransitive verb Psychology To experience habituation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Inveterate by custom; formed by habit; habitual.
  • To accustom; make familiar by habit or customary experience.
  • To settle as an inhabitant in a place.
  • Synonyms 1. To inure, harden, familiarize (with).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Firmly established by custom; formed by habit; habitual.
  • transitive verb To make accustomed; to accustom; to familiarize.
  • transitive verb obsolete To settle as an inhabitant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To turn into a habit, to make habitual.

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

  • verb take or consume (regularly or habitually)
  • verb make psychologically or physically used (to something)

Etymologies

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

[From Middle English, accustomed, from Late Latin habituātus, past participle of habituārī, to be in a condition, from Latin habitus, condition, habit; see habit.]

Examples

  • Emotional rewards from novel stimuli are processed by dopamine receptors in the striatum, but the brain is designed to habituate, that is, not get so excited by repeated stimuli.

    GigaOM

  • Human beings "habituate" to repetitive light-stimuli light flickering light.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Human beings "habituate" to repetitive light-stimuli light flickering light.

    Game Shows, Television and the effect on your BRAIN

  • The authors say that the command-and-control approach often used with dogs never works with cats (and will likely spur them to escape their harness and dash off), so it's important to know how to motivate them, how to reassure them when they get nervous, and how to habituate them to the sometimes-scary sounds and sights of the great outdoors.

    Cat on a leash: We'll walk you through it

  • And thus, over time, readers habituate to how inherently political is the "Muslims are coming to get us" plot.

    Barry Eisler: Fictional Politics

  • Yes, some teachers and parents reflexively hand out the equivalent of a doggie biscuit every few minutes, the result being that kids habituate to it and it has no impact.

    Alfie Kohn: Criticizing (Common Criticisms of) Praise

  • Yes, some teachers and parents reflexively hand out the equivalent of a doggie biscuit every few minutes, the result being that kids habituate to it and it has no impact.

    Alfie Kohn: Criticizing (Common Criticisms of) Praise

  • But then we habituate to our new possessions, and our happiness level falls back to where it was.

    Valerie Tarico: Ivo -- Man With a World Instead of a Country

  • A deplorable number of recent works habituate us to thinking about Afghanistan as what Liam Fox, Britain's defence secretary, called a "broken 13th-century country", defined solely by pathologically violent men and silently brutalised women.

    Burkas and bikinis

  • But then we habituate to our new possessions, and our happiness level falls back to where it was.

    Valerie Tarico: Ivo -- Man With a World Instead of a Country

Comments

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  • to become accustomed to

    July 19, 2007

  • Also used in the sense of inure and sate and cloy in, say, the taste buds in winetasting.

    November 18, 2007