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

  • n. The physical and constitutional characteristics of an individual, especially as related to the tendency to develop a certain disease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. habitude; mode of life; bearing, general appearance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Habitude; mode of life; general appearance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medicine, characteristic state or condition; constitutional habit.
  • n. In natural history, the general appearance or likeness of an animal or a plant, irrespective of its structure; facies.

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

  • n. constitution of the human body
  • n. person's predisposition to be affected by something (as a disease)


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

Latin, condition; see habit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin habitus ("habit"), from habeō ("have; maintain").



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  • Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist who, in his book on distinction, developed the concept habitus to describe the social origins of taste. It’s a way to see inequalities in our relationships to cultural artifacts and activities and on our bodies. For example, while the ability to purchase a $119 wool suit blazer in size 3-6 months requires economic privilege, easily imagining and desiring to see one’s baby in it also reflects a long held class location and taken-for-granted world of pleasure and pomp. Importantly, Bourdieu notes, taste leads to distinction, by which we rank people according to “highbrow” vs. “lowbrow” or “classy” vs. “trashy.” Social hierarchies, then, are reflected in and essentialized through the development of taste over our lifetimes.--Kristen Barber, December 3, 2015

    December 9, 2015

  • No, surely not? Habitus is not 'habit", it is:

    "a set of acquired patterns of thought, behavior, and taste 1. These patterns, or "dispositions," are the result of internalization of culture or objective social structures through the experience of an individual or group."

    May 14, 2008