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 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 Investors are habituated to financial fiascos in Argentina but even so the news has come as a rude shock: the price of Argentina’s sovereign bonds traded in Europe tumbled by about 5% the day after the announcement. The Economist, "Argentina’s beleaguered government imposes capital controls," 2 Sep. 2019 At this point in life, I’m habituated to the inevitability that the most impotent mid-season episodes of a Netflix drama will also be the ones that are 57 minutes long. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The TV Is Too Damn Long," 9 June 2019 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for habituate

Last Updated

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Habituate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habituate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=habitu02. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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Comments on habituate

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a period of high artistic development

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