ha·​bit·​u·​ate | \hə-ˈbi-chə-ˌwāt, 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


affect, frequent, hang (at), haunt, resort (to), visit


avoid, shun

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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

Some goats have become habituated, or accustomed to people. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "‘Cute little cotton-ball herd’: Orphaned mountain goat kids released at wildlife park," 13 Nov. 2018 Those working with the prized bears bound for the wild—Vitale included—don panda suits that both look and smell like their tiny charges, preventing them from habituating to humans. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "Why Photographing Pandas Is More Challenging Than You Might Think," 21 May 2018 Past breeding attempts were based on the idea that by minimizing contact with their human keepers, the captive creatures don't habituate to their strange hairless helpers. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "The Science Behind the Unbearably Cute IMAX Movie “Pandas”," 6 Apr. 2018 The normally skittish apes are hard to see in the wild, except for a few populations that have been habituated to the presence of humans. Nick Lunn, National Geographic, "Wild Gorilla Cuddles Its Newborn Baby in Rare Video," 13 Mar. 2018 Women habituated to this style of interacting with others are perhaps not the best prepared to fight back if they are mistreated. Judy Dushku, The Cut, "I’ve Been a Mormon for 75 Years. Here’s What I Know About the Church and Assault.," 13 Feb. 2018 Deer are habituated to living in Petersburg and are often seen walking on roads, according to KFSK. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Video of vehicle apparently running down deer in Petersburg under investigation by troopers," 13 Feb. 2018 Anyone who lives near the forests or mountains attracts and then habituates bears with food trash. Alaska Dispatch News, "Readers write: Letters to the editor, July 7, 2017," 7 July 2017 Only those animals too ill or human-habituated remain at the sanctuary. Angelina Jolie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Writes a Letter to You from Namibia," 11 Oct. 2017

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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Statistics for habituate

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for habituate

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

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More Definitions for habituate



English Language Learners Definition of habituate

: 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- \
habituated; habituating

Medical Definition of habituate 

transitive verb

1 : to cause habituation in

intransitive verb

1 : to cause habituation marijuana may be habituating

2 : to undergo habituation habituate to a stimulus

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Comments on habituate

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


having a pattern of small flowers

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