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verb prac·tice \ˈprak-təs\

Simple Definition of practice

  • : to do something again and again in order to become better at it

  • : to do (something) regularly or constantly as an ordinary part of your life

  • : to live according to the customs and teachings of (a religion)

Full Definition of practice

prac·ticed also prac·tisedprac·tic·ing also prac·tis·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  carry out, apply <practice what you preach> b :  to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually <practice politeness> c :  to be professionally engaged in <practice medicine>

  3. 2 a :  to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient <practice the act> b :  to train by repeated exercises <practice pupils in penmanship>

  4. 3 obsolete :  plot

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to do repeated exercises for proficiency

  7. 2 :  to pursue a profession actively

  8. 3 archaic :  intrigue

  9. 4 :  to do something customarily

  10. 5 :  to take advantage of someone <he practised on their credulity with huge success — Times Literary Supplement>

prac·tic·er noun

Examples of practice

  1. To be a good musician, you have to practice a lot.

  2. Have you been practicing your lines for the play?

  3. She had to practice flying in various weather conditions before she could get her pilot's license.

  4. Grandmother taught us to practice good manners.

  5. Practice what you preach—don't smoke if you tell your children not to smoke.

Variants of practice

also prac·tise play \ˈprak-təs\

Origin of practice

Middle English practisen, from Middle French practiser, from Medieval Latin practizare, alteration of practicare, from practica practice, noun, from Late Latin practice, from Greek praktikē, from feminine of praktikos

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with practice



noun prac·tice

Simple Definition of practice

  • : the activity of doing something again and again in order to become better at it

  • : a regular occasion at which you practice something

  • : something that is done often or regularly

Full Definition of practice

  1. 1 a :  actual performance or application <ready to carry out in practice what they advocated in principle> b :  a repeated or customary action <had this irritating practice> c :  the usual way of doing something <local practices> d :  the form, manner, and order of conducting legal suits and prosecutions

  2. 2 a :  systematic exercise for proficiency <practice makes perfect> b :  the condition of being proficient through systematic exercise <get in practice>

  3. 3 a :  the continuous exercise of a profession b :  a professional business; especially :  one constituting an incorporeal property

Examples of practice

  1. Being a good musician takes a lot of practice.

  2. I'm sure you'll learn your lines for the play with enough practice.

  3. They'll get better with practice.

  4. I'm late for trumpet practice.

  5. The marching band has practice every Wednesday afternoon.

  6. The team's practices usually last two hours.

  7. She has made a practice of volunteering at a homeless shelter one weekend a month.

  8. The country's poor sanitation practices have led to widespread disease.

  9. Burial practices vary around the world.

  10. It is common practice among my friends to not use capital letters in e-mail.

15th Century

First Known Use of practice

15th century

Variants of practice

also practise

Synonym Discussion of practice

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>.

Seen and Heard

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February 14, 2016

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