Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Habitude; mode of life; general appearance.

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

  • noun zoology habitude; mode of life; bearing, general appearance.

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

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

Etymologies

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").

Examples

  • Council of Trent has refrained from applying the term habitus to sanctifying grace.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • Note 6: My use of the term "orthodox" is not the same as Bourdieu's, embedded in habitus — the social reproduction of structures in a stable society.

    Belongings: Property, Family, and Identity in Colonial South Africa

  • This collective ethos forms what Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist, called the habitus, the coherent amalgam of practices linking habit with inhabitance.

    'I Saw a Nightmare …' Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976

  • Saint Thomas Aquinas,4 using the terminology of the philosophical tradition to which he belonged, explains it as follows: faith is a habitus, that is, a stable disposition of the spirit, through which eternal life takes root in us and reason is led to consent to what it does not see.

    Latest Articles

  • The virtue or "habitus" of art, Maritain writes, is not simply an "interior growth of spontaneous life," but has an intellectual character and involves cultivation and practice.

    Jacques Maritain

  • I have thought it worthwhile to vary the interpretation of this word, because though "habitus" may be equivalent to all the senses of [Greek: exis], "habit" is not, at least according to our colloquial usage we commonly denote by "habit" a state formed by habituation.

    Ethics

  • Of themselves, such "habitus" give no facility to act, but only the power, the mere potentia.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • Just as those young people of Chinese background will have an impact on world culture and that of their places of origins, so will those cosmopolites with no Chinese background who are now making the Chinese world the 'habitus' for their creativity.

    Danwei - Media, Advertising, and Urban Life in China

  • Just as those young people of Chinese background will have an impact on world culture and that of their places of origins, so will those cosmopolites with no Chinese background who are now making the Chinese world the 'habitus' for their creativity.

    Danwei - Media, Advertising, and Urban Life in China

  • I considered specifically asking readers not to make hateful comments about the lady herself (and I'm pleased to note that the typical reply is one of "sadness" rather than something derogatory of her body habitus).

    How (not) To Make Macaroni Salad » E-Mail

Comments

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  • 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

  • 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