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

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 The habitual offender statue requires a sentence of no less than five years in prison and up to life in prison. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Driver pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter in death of Boise pedestrian," 26 June 2018 The scale in part reflects Asia’s habitual dominance of foreign portfolio flows into emerging markets: The region posted the biggest net outflows or inflows into those markets in 19 of the past 24 months through May, according to the IIF’s data. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "Why Asia’s Emerging Markets Are Looking Better Than Their Peers," 14 June 2018 Welch is also being charged as a habitual offender due to being convicted of fleeing and eluding a police officer in February 2017. Wzzm, Detroit Free Press, "Driver accused of 6-year-old girl's fatal hit-and-run doesn't have license," 11 June 2018 The state agreed not to sentence Harton as a habitual offender in exchange for pleading guilty as charged. Marie Simoneaux, NOLA.com, "NOPD searching for parents of toddler found in Algiers," 25 May 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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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 \ \ 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

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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