prac·​tice | \ ˈprak-təs How to pronounce practice (audio) \
variants: or less commonly practise
practiced also practised; practicing also practising

Definition of practice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : carry out, apply practice what you preach
b : to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually practice politeness
c : to be professionally engaged in practice medicine
2a : to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient practice the act
b : to train by repeated exercises practice pupils in penmanship
3 obsolete : plot

intransitive verb

1 : to do repeated exercises for proficiency
2 : to pursue a profession actively
3 archaic : intrigue
4 : to do something customarily
5 : to take advantage of someone he practised on their credulity with huge successThe Times Literary Supplement (London)


variants: or less commonly practise

Definition of practice (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : actual performance or application ready to carry out in practice what they advocated in principle
b : a repeated or customary action had this irritating practice
c : the usual way of doing something local practices
d : the form, manner, and order of conducting legal suits and prosecutions
2a : systematic exercise for proficiency practice makes perfect
b : the condition of being proficient through systematic exercise get in practice
3a : the continuous exercise of a profession
b : a professional business especially : one constituting an incorporeal property

Other Words from practice


practicer noun

Synonyms for practice

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for practice


habit, practice, usage, custom, wont mean a way of acting fixed through repetition. habit implies a doing unconsciously and often compulsively. had a habit of tapping his fingers practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice. our practice is to honor all major credit cards usage suggests a customary action so generally followed that it has become a social norm. western-style dress is now common usage in international business custom applies to a practice or usage so steadily associated with an individual or group as to have almost the force of unwritten law. the custom of wearing black at funerals wont usually applies to a habitual manner, method, or practice of an individual or group. as was her wont, she slept until noon

Examples of practice in a Sentence

Verb To be a good musician, you have to practice a lot. Have you been practicing your lines for the play? She had to practice flying in various weather conditions before she could get her pilot's license. Grandmother taught us to practice good manners. Practice what you preach—don't smoke if you tell your children not to smoke. Noun Being a good musician takes a lot of practice. I'm sure you'll learn your lines for the play with enough practice. They'll get better with practice. I'm late for trumpet practice. The marching band has practice every Wednesday afternoon. The team's practices usually last two hours. She has made a practice of volunteering at a homeless shelter one weekend a month. The country's poor sanitation practices have led to widespread disease. Burial practices vary around the world. It is common practice among my friends to not use capital letters in e-mail. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Come on over to Rick’s kitchen and hear his neighbor, a real Broadway chorus singer, practice the same three lines of a song while in the shower! Jenny Kroik, The New Yorker, 13 May 2022 The first English woman to obtain a law degree did so in 1888; Parliament did not allow women to practice law in Britain until 1919. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 May 2022 To have our own facility and have the ability for our students to play and practice in town is huge. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 7 May 2022 As a canine, Shasharoosticus—or S. Roosticus Fischer, as Mr. Fischer referred to the dog in his nomination entry—lacked a law degree and a license to practice. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Kelly was fired by USC in 2018 and lost his license to practice in 2020. NBC News, 29 Apr. 2022 Sadrinia, 59, was first licensed to practice dentistry in Kentucky in 1991, the documents say. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 27 Apr. 2022 The council member sponsored a resolution in February to conduct a national search for an attorney licensed to practice law in Michigan. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2022 The offense beat the defense, 31-27, as the Hurricanes got a chance to practice their new offense and defense in a game-like situation in front of fans. Adam Lichtenstein, Sun Sentinel, 16 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The practice of seeking trial-prep subpoenas has been commonplace for some Cook County prosecutors, and some judges even encouraged them. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 Cline opened his clinic in 1979, when infertility practice was still a new—and relatively unregulated—medical specialty. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 12 May 2022 But while keylogging is a relatively rare type of malware, the practice of logging email addresses is not. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 12 May 2022 In 1803, the case of Marbury v. Madison established that the practice of judicial review would be the main function of the Supreme Court. WSJ, 10 May 2022 Spring practice is complete, coaching staffs are set, the transfer cycle is coming to a close and a morsel of clarity has emerged from the Pac-12 haze. oregonlive, 9 May 2022 Analysts say the practice can be damaging because former officials have an unfair advantage in influencing regulations in their favor. Globe Staff,, 6 May 2022 This practice of educating users is a form of marketing that generates powerful results in the long run. Yec, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The practice was common in Aztec, Maya and other Mesoamerican civilizations. Elizabeth Djinis, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'practice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of practice


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


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

History and Etymology for practice


Middle English practisen, from Middle French practiser, from Medieval Latin practizare, alteration of practicare, from practica practice, noun, from Late Latin practice, from Greek praktikē, from feminine of praktikos

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Time Traveler for practice

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The first known use of practice was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near practice



practice curve

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Practice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for practice


prac·​tice | \ ˈprak-təs How to pronounce practice (audio) \
practiced; practicing

Kids Definition of practice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to do or work at often so as to learn well or improve Practice the piano daily.
2 : to do or perform often or usually Try to practice good manners.
3 : to engage in or work at as a profession practice medicine



Kids Definition of practice (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of doing something again and again in order to learn or improve Ballet takes a lot of practice.
2 : a regular event at which something is done again and again to increase skill soccer practice
3 : actual performance : use I put his advice into practice.
4 : a usual way of doing something It's our practice to rise early.
5 : continuous work in a profession the practice of law


variants: or practise \ ˈprak-​təs How to pronounce practice (audio) \
practiced or practised; practicing or practising

Medical Definition of practice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be professionally engaged in practice medicine

intransitive verb

: to pursue a profession actively


variants: also practise

Medical Definition of practice (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the continuous exercise of a profession
2 : a professional business especially : one constituting an incorporeal property the doctor sold his practice and retired



Legal Definition of practice

1 : the form and manner of conducting judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings
2a : the continuous exercise of a profession also : the performance of services that are considered to require an appropriate license engaged in the unauthorized practice of law
b : a professional business

More from Merriam-Webster on practice

Nglish: Translation of practice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of practice for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about practice


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