practice

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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)
practicer noun

practice

2 of 2

noun

variants or less commonly practise
1
a
: 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
2
a
: systematic exercise for proficiency
practice makes perfect
b
: the condition of being proficient through systematic exercise
get in practice
3
a
: the continuous exercise of a profession
b
: a professional business
especially : one constituting an incorporeal property
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
In the preceding years, during the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government’s term, rescue teams from Taiwan and mainland China had held joint maritime drills to practice search and rescue operations in a sign of warming ties. Nectar Gan, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 Have a home fire escape plan and practice at-home fire drills. Makiya Seminera, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 Hilary, smarting from a recent fight with David, coaxes Puri to drink with her, giving her helper a makeover and one of her formal gowns and encouraging her to practice her audition song. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2024 Social Awareness: Being attuned to the emotions and dynamics within an organization allows leaders to practice empathy effectively. Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 This means families should practice intentionality when choosing entertainment. Lynnette Nicholas, Parents, 16 Feb. 2024 But this also presents a functional and even metaphysical dilemma to someone like me, a working movie critic of four decades who for much of that time has also been a practicing Zen Buddhist. Ty Burr, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Crafts can only live as long as they are practiced. Olivia Potts, Longreads, 15 Feb. 2024 Advertisement On Wednesday, practicing Catholics fast, abstain from eating meat (on every Friday for six weeks afterward as well) and choose a favorite food or pursuit, such as candy or alcoholic beverages, to avoid for 40 days. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024
Noun
McDonald said Harris asks for feedback every day at practice trying to identify every half-tenth deduction and fixing each mistake. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 Employers also can engage organizations like Future State, a venture capital fund that makes early-stage investments in companies whose mission is to create new tools to help organizations rethink their talent practices. Ryan Stowers, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Further, the vast majority, about 85%, of obstetricians and gynecologists in Idaho practice in the seven most populous counties. Angela Palermo, Idaho Statesman, 20 Feb. 2024 Fanon also sought to adapt his psychiatry practice to address the cruelties of colonialism. Adam Shatz, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The forward, who turned 52 last week, also skated briefly in a Penguins practice the day before and took part in the team’s pregame warmups just before its game with the Los Angeles Kings. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, 19 Feb. 2024 In a major strategy shift, GlobalFoundries in 2018 decided to stop the costly practice of developing new production processes that pack more transistors on each piece of silicon. Don Clark, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2024 The Marlins do not appear poised to repeat either as spring training unfurls Tuesday with the team’s first full-squad practice 90 minutes north in Jupiter. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 This practice can not only drive better human outcomes but better business outcomes as well, according to Deloitte. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 19 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near practice

Cite this Entry

“Practice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/practice. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

practice

1 of 2 verb
prac·​tice
variants also practise
practiced or practised; practicing or practising
1
: to perform or work at over and over so as to become skilled
practice juggling
2
: carry out, apply
practice what you preach
3
: to do or perform often or usually
practice politeness
4
: to engage in or work at as a profession
practice medicine
practicer noun

practice

2 of 2 noun
variants also practise
1
a
: actual performance or application
b
: a repeated or usual action
it was our practice to rise early
c
: the usual way of doing something
local practice
2
a
: action done over and over in order to acquire skill
practice makes perfect
b
: the condition of being skilled through practice
get in practice
3
a
: continuous work in a profession
the practice of law
b
: a professional business
the doctor has expanded her practice

Medical Definition

practice

1 of 2 verb
prac·​tice
variants or practise
practiced or practised; practicing or practising

transitive verb

: to be professionally engaged in
practice medicine

intransitive verb

: to pursue a profession actively

practice

2 of 2 noun
variants also practise
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

practice

noun
prac·​tice
1
: the form and manner of conducting judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings
2
a
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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