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

Most of the individuals have turned their backs to someone, the bright afternoon sunshine no match for the icy atmosphere of entrenched and habitual antipathy. David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Forget sexy. Eric Fischl paints the dark dramas amid all that skin," 16 July 2019 One of Johnson's habitual tactics as a politician is quintessentially British: self-deprecating humor. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Maverick Boris Johnson or manager Jeremy Hunt: Who will be Britain's new prime minister?," 22 July 2019 According to the release, Wrench is a habitual runaway and has runaway over ten times in the last two years. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Police: Missouri City teen reported missing may be victim of human trafficking," 2 July 2019 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

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

15 Aug 2019

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 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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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).


not constant or steady

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