ha·​bit·​u·​al | \hə-ˈbi-ch(ə-)wəl, 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

Spellman had 14 felony and 31 misdemeanor convictions prior to the cigarette theft, which qualified him as a habitual felony offender, The News Journal reported. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Florida man gets 20 years for stealing $600 worth of cigarettes," 24 Sep. 2018 Acevedo, of the 1200 block of North California Avenue, was charged with being an armed habitual criminal, a Class X felony punishable with up to 30 years in prison. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cops investigating how suspect got loaded handgun into police lockup," 19 June 2018 As for the habitual anti-union sentiment: Noyce is dead. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "What Tesla’s union-busting trial means for the rest of Silicon Valley," 29 Sep. 2018 Robertson faces additional preliminary charges of resisting arrest with a vehicle, reckless driving and operating a vehicle while being a habitual traffic violator, Tarrh said. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Highway speed trap catches two suspects in Saks smash-and-grab," 28 Mar. 2018 When librarians asked participants how many were habitual painters or hobbyists, no one raised their hands. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 He was judged to be a habitual offender, too, and was returned to prison. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis inmate plays role in film but misses premiere. He's still in prison.," 9 July 2018 This episode did not cure Adams of his habitual overconfidence. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 If emails, texts, witness statements and other forms of evidence collectively reveal Ollie as a habitual violator of NCAA rules, Ollie’s attorneys will struggle in the arbitration. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Breaking Down Kevin Ollie's Case Against UConn and the University's Likely Defenses," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for habitual

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for habitual

The first known use of habitual was in 1603

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More Definitions for habitual



English Language Learners Definition of habitual

: done regularly or repeatedly

: doing something regularly or repeatedly


ha·​bit·​u·​al | \hə-ˈbi-chə-wəl \

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 \

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 \ adverb

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ha·​bit·​u·​al | \hə-ˈbi-chə-wəl \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on habitual

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for habitual

Spanish Central: Translation of habitual

Nglish: Translation of habitual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of habitual for Arabic Speakers

Comments on habitual

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having a pattern of small flowers

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