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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Martin Marquez, 27, is facing a felony charge of manufacturing and delivering cocaine, party to a crime, with habitual criminal enhancers that set him up for a maximum penalty of 27 and a half years in prison, if convicted. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An Elkhorn man supplied the drugs that caused the fatal overdose of his friend in West Allis, complaint says," 9 July 2019 How many times over the years has this race had to be delayed or postponed due to the habitual late-afternoon thunderstorms in Central Florida? Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Rain-postponed Coke Zero Sugar 400 is proof that Fourth of July racing in Daytona lost its identity years ago | Commentary," 6 July 2019 George Riley of Bedford is facing multiple charges, including disobeying a police officer, reckless conduct, and being a habitual offender, police said. Breanne Kovatch, BostonGlobe.com, "Man arrested after allegedly leading police on N.H. chase, then barricading himself in truck," 25 June 2019 Even habitual flyers engage in reassurance rituals: from prayers and hand-holding to pills and alcohol. The Economist, "Boeing’s boss wins a reprieve, not redemption," 21 June 2019 Police arrested a 48-year-old Manassas Park man and charged him with driving while intoxicated, hit and run, possession of marijuana, refusing a breath test, habitual offender operating a vehicle with a revoked license, and aggressive driving. Lisa M. Bolton, Washington Post, "Prince William crime report," 5 June 2019 Yet eyeballs, snowflakes, quantum physics and birth (along with many other things) are magic and habitual. New York Times, "Samantha Hunt: By the Book," 21 June 2018 During closing arguments, lawyers for Mr. and Ms. Mangano repeatedly attacked Mr. Singh, calling him a habitual liar and comparing the prosecution to one that might take place in North Korea. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Mangano Corruption Trial Ends in Mistrial on Long Island," 31 May 2018 But Amis’s contempt toward the human material in front of him often feels easy, habitual, unearned, a matter of prejudice rather than experience. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "In His New Collection, ‘The Rub of Time,’ Martin Amis Takes On Everyone From Travolta to Trump," 28 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of habitual

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for habitual

see habit entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about habitual

Statistics for habitual

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for habitual

The first known use of habitual was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 habitually (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more


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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up habitual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!