habituation

noun

ha·​bit·​u·​a·​tion hə-ˌbi-chə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce habituation (audio)
ha-,
-chü-ˈā-
1
: the process of habituating : the state of being habituated
2
a
: tolerance to the effects of a drug acquired through continued use
b
: psychological dependence on a drug after a period of use compare addiction
3
: decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus

Examples of habituation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is the rush, the perhaps unconscious desire to replicate the rush, and there is habituation and addiction. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 6 Mar. 2024 This type of habituation is a particular problem, state wildlife authorities say, and officials are still grappling with how to approach the issue. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2024 Responding less and less to stimuli that repeat is a human phenomenon that social scientists call habituation. Jessica Dulong, CNN, 23 Feb. 2024 Mountain lion habituation an ongoing issue near Hailey Officials said the Magic Valley Fish and Game region has received 85 calls about mountain lions since Oct. 1 of last year, as well as reports of non-fatal lion attacks on pet dogs. Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 Such repulsion was nearly complete, and neither habituation nor social facilitation could be observed. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2014 Too much confusion or too much habituation won’t work; confusion and habituation must be balanced. Jason Karp, Outside Online, 12 Jan. 2021 But when food conditioning and habituation make bears more comfortable around humans, attacks become more likely. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 8 June 2023 The lack of social behaviors towards the mirror is irrelevant because the monkeys all had an extensive history with mirrors prior to the study, so there was no reason to expect social responses after years of habituation to reflective surfaces. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 11 Oct. 2010

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'habituation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of habituation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near habituation

Cite this Entry

“Habituation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/habituation. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

habituation

noun
ha·​bit·​u·​a·​tion -ˌbich-ə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce habituation (audio)
1
: the act or process of making habitual or accustomed
2
a
: tolerance to the effects of a drug acquired through continued use
b
: psychological dependence on a drug after a period of use compare addiction
3
: a form of nonassociative learning characterized by a decrease in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus compare sensitization sense 3

More from Merriam-Webster on habituation

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