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 His charges were later upgraded to a Class X armed habitual crime and had been in sheriff's custody for more than a year, CWB reported. Tomás Mier, PEOPLE.com, 12 July 2021 The approach: This involves the rejection of habitual problem-solving practices; there is no longer an expert, only a mentor and a facilitator. Sergej Derzap, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Instead of overhauling the structure of the country’s energy system, though, regulators played around the edges while maintaining their habitual focus on the hot-button problem of energy bills. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 Insofar as Crossroads contains anything like Franzen’s habitual gesture toward a grand system, a global frame is to be found in the Church. Becca Rothfeld, The Atlantic, 4 Oct. 2021 The collection has Black genealogists and habitual researchers thrilled because the descendants of the enslaved in America can learn more about their families in a far easier way. NBC News, 17 Sep. 2021 Fetterolf, described by a family member as a habitual runaway, went missing in the late summer of 1975. Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2021 Then the four-time Grammy winner and habitual chart-topper amped up the hype during the week by buying a series of billboards in cities such as Atlanta, Chicago and Memphis to tease the album's collaborations. Editors, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 Piling on a football opponent costs you 15 yards; piling on yourself keeps pushing you down and can turn habitual. Mike Bass, The Enquirer, 19 Aug. 2021

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

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The first known use of habitual was in 1603

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Habitual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habitual. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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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 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 habitual (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

More from Merriam-Webster on habitual

Nglish: Translation of habitual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of habitual for Arabic Speakers


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