ha·​bit·​u·​ate | \ hə-ˈbi-chə-ˌwāt How to pronounce habituate (audio) , ha-, -chü-ˌāt \
habituated; habituating

Definition of habituate

transitive verb

1 : to make used to something : accustom

intransitive verb

1 : to cause habituation
2 : to undergo habituation habituate to a stimulus

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Synonyms & Antonyms for habituate



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Examples of habituate in a Sentence

the sort of lounge lizard known to habituate bars and nightclubs
Recent Examples on the Web Those still habituated to sleep got by on milder stimulants. Steven Cohen, The New Republic, "How Drugs Made American Warfare," 17 Apr. 2020 Because of heavy censorship and a tight, top-down control of information, people in China are habituated to be cautious and apolitical in their online behavior. Han Zhang, The New Yorker, "How the Coronavirus Has Tested China’s System of Information Control," 7 Feb. 2020 Sontag argued that science fiction films were one of her era's coping strategies: Their thrills helped distract from life's banality while also habituating people, via alien invasions and attacks, to the idea of existential danger. Laurence Scott, Wired, "ASMR and the Soothing Power of Experts," 21 Jan. 2020 That keeps the waterfowl, raptors and songbirds habituated to the slow-moving vehicles and wary to people. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "More than 1 million waterfowl star in driving tour of Sacramento National Wildlife Complex," 23 Nov. 2019 Beginning in the 1960s, U.S. Army researchers found that nude men who spent eight hours a day in a 50°F (10°C) chamber became habituated to the cold and had mostly stopped shivering after two weeks. Markham Heid, Time, "How to Help Your Body Adjust to Colder Weather," 29 Oct. 2019 Sally Maughan of Idaho Black Bear Rehab said that facility has had plenty of success raising bear cubs without habituating them to humans and releasing them into the wild. USA TODAY, "Massive pumpkin, runaway emu, 38-year-old penguin dies: News from around our 50 states," 21 Oct. 2019 Avoid habituating wild animals to humans’ presence. National Geographic, "Is the food appropriate and safely provided?," 31 July 2019 Coyotes, in response to the increase of human presence and human attractants, are being habituated or desensitized to humans. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Coyote encounters too close for some La Cañada residents, pet owners," 5 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'habituate.' 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 habituate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for habituate

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The first known use of habituate was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Habituate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habituate. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for habituate


How to pronounce habituate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of habituate

formal : to cause (a person or animal) to become familiar with and used to a particular place, situation, etc.


ha·​bit·​u·​ate | \ hə-ˈbich-ə-ˌwāt, ha- How to pronounce habituate (audio) \
habituated; habituating

Medical Definition of habituate

intransitive verb

1 : to cause habituation marijuana may be habituating
2 : to undergo habituation habituate to a stimulus

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