ha·​bit·​u·​al | \ hə-ˈbi-ch(ə-)wəl How to pronounce habitual (audio) , ha-, -ˈbi-chəl \

Definition of habitual

1 : regularly or repeatedly doing or practicing something or acting in some manner : having the nature of a habit : customary habitual candor habitual behavior habitual drug use
2 : regularly or repeatedly doing, practicing, or acting in some manner : doing something by force of habit habitual drunkards a habitual liar
3 : resorted to on a regular basis our habitual diet
4 : inherent in an individual habitual grace

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Other Words from habitual

habitually adverb
habitualness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for habitual

usual, customary, habitual, wonted, accustomed mean familiar through frequent or regular repetition. usual stresses the absence of strangeness or unexpectedness. my usual order for lunch customary applies to what accords with the practices, conventions, or usages of an individual or community. the customary waiting period before the application is approved habitual suggests a practice settled or established by much repetition. a habitual morning routine wonted stresses habituation but usually applies to what is favored, sought, or purposefully cultivated. his wonted determination accustomed is less emphatic than wonted or habitual in suggesting fixed habit or invariable custom. accepted the compliment with her accustomed modesty

Examples of habitual in a Sentence

He was fired for his habitual lateness. They went for their habitual evening walk.
Recent Examples on the Web Walter William Dill, 33, of Welling, Okla. is charged as a habitual offender with residential burglary, criminal mischief and theft of property. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, "Jury trial canceled after positive covid-19 test," 1 Oct. 2020 The issue for Burrow and the Bengals is it’s a habitual problem for them. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Joe Burrow’s had a bruising first three games. Can the Cincinnati Bengals protect him?," 29 Sep. 2020 The fresh round of financing during a pandemic underscores the rising demand to shore up supply chains increasingly dependent on warehouses and distribution hubs as consumer dabbling with online shopping turns more habitual. Brendan Murray, Bloomberg.com, "Robots Driving Forklifts Score Venture Capital, Create Jobs," 15 Sep. 2020 If the environment of decision-making stays the same, your daily habitual behaviors will most likely stay the same. Kristen Berman, Fortune, "How a vacation—or a pandemic—can help you adopt better habits now," 12 Sep. 2020 The first-degree charge is punishable by a sentence of 25 years to life under the state’s habitual offender laws. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Woman arrested at Boston airport, suspected of running unlawful law practice in Uptown Dallas," 10 Sep. 2020 Democracy, of course, is supposed to be habitual, too. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, "Can Democracy Handle Charisma?," 17 Aug. 2020 But Vermilion Parish prosecutors invoked Louisiana's habitual offender law, and Harris was re-sentenced to life in prison. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Black veteran serving life for $30 marijuana sale set free after nearly a decade in prison," 20 Aug. 2020 Despite a recent tax hike on cigarettes in France that has pushed some packs over €10 each, and the mass distribution of pocket ashtrays, littering cigarettes on the ground remains habitual. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘France's dirtiest city’ sets its sights on ending cigarette waste," 18 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'habitual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of habitual

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for habitual

see habit entry 1

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Time Traveler for habitual

Time Traveler

The first known use of habitual was in 1603

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Statistics for habitual

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Habitual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habitual. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for habitual


How to pronounce habitual (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of habitual

: done regularly or repeatedly
: doing something regularly or repeatedly


ha·​bit·​u·​al | \ hə-ˈbi-chə-wəl How to pronounce habitual (audio) \

Kids Definition of habitual

1 : occurring regularly or repeatedly : being or done by habit habitual kindness
2 : doing or acting by force of habit habitual liars
3 : regular sense 1 Salad is my habitual lunch.

Other Words from habitual

habitually \ -​wə-​lē \ adverb He is habitually late.


ha·​bit·​u·​al | \ hə-ˈbich-(ə-)wəl, ha-, -ˈbich-əl How to pronounce habitual (audio) \

Medical Definition of habitual

1 : having the nature of a habit : being in accordance with habit habitual smoking
2 : doing, practicing, or acting in some manner by force of habit habitual liars

Other Words from habitual

habitually \ -​ē How to pronounce habitually (audio) \ adverb

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ha·​bit·​u·​al | \ hə-ˈbi-chə-wəl How to pronounce habitual (audio) \

Legal Definition of habitual

1 : practicing or acting in some manner by force of custom, habit, or addiction a habitual drunkard
2 : being such a specified number of times or with designated regularity habitual offenders
3 : involved in the practice of a person's usual behavior her habitual residence

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