practice

verb
prac·​tice | \ˈprak-təs \
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)

practice

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from practice

Verb

practicer noun

Synonyms for practice

Synonyms: Verb

exercise, rehearse, run over

Synonyms: Noun

dry run, rehearsal, trial

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for practice

Noun

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

If the Supreme Court is ever to be seen as nonpolitical, both the president and the Senate will need to start picking nominees based on their ability to practice self-government. The Christian Science Monitor, "A big question for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee," 10 July 2018 The movie follows three teens named Max, Dani, and Allison from Salem, Massachusetts who accidentally resurrect the Sanderson sisters, three witches who were executed 300 years ago for practicing dark magic. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "The Definitive Ranking Of The Best Halloween Disney Channel Original Movies," 29 June 2018 When the Pettons aren’t racing, they can be found practicing at a track in Cahuilla in Riverside County or at their track at home. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Teen repeats first place national motorcycle win," 21 June 2018 Earlier in the day, Harry was seen practicing his speech for an audience of one, his wife. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore Navy Stella McCartney to the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony," 20 Oct. 2018 While there, several department members including a division chief and EMS captains, practiced multiple intubations on the body, the Bellingham Herald reported, citing information received from the city’s communications director. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Washington state fire department used dead body for training without family's consent: report," 25 Sep. 2018 Drinking and people-watching is a Budapest art practiced in a wide spectrum of establishments. András Szántó, Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to Eat, Stay, and Play in Budapest," 29 Aug. 2018 After practicing in front of the mirror for a few weeks, Darci, nine years old at the time, begged her parents to get her a puppet. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Winner Darci Lynne Farmer Almost Didn't Become a Ventriloquist," 15 Aug. 2018 To some, December is a little too early to start practicing for a sport that doesn’t play its first games until April anyway. Rob Manker, Naperville Sun, "Manker: Lessons learned on ballfield sometimes bring winning and losing into perspective," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And ironically, these good practices give Bali a shot at influencing the dialogue around conscious tourism. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Stretch has decided to stay at Facebook, given that the company is still dealing with a number of legal and political crises, including multiple federal investigations into Facebook’s data and privacy practices that started earlier this year. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "General Counsel Colin Stretch said in July that he was leaving. Now he’s staying into 2019.," 15 Nov. 2018 The research center will also assist those seeking help, and guide best practice for training and other services. Trevor Marshallsea, Fox News, "PM formally apologizes to Australian child sex abuse victims," 22 Oct. 2018 Another photo showed a QF-16 target drone (a F-16 modified to act as an unmanned practice target) with the aircraft nose cone broken off. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "More Than a Dozen F-22s May Have Been Damaged or Destroyed by Hurricane Michael," 15 Oct. 2018 What this means: Google has taken plenty of heat for slurping up user data and using it to generate personalized ads—a practice employed by many other companies, including Microsoft. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Here's a way to help protect your browser from Google Chrome's latest privacy snafu," 24 Sep. 2018 For example, yoga helps to soothe your nervous system, in part because the practice centers so much on breathing. Sarah Richards, Woman's Day, "Quiet Your Mind in Anxious Times With These Expert Tricks," 14 Aug. 2018 In the most recent clash this summer, Bytedance accused Tencent of blocking TikTok videos from its platforms, including dominant messaging app WeChat; Tencent retorted by suing Bytedance for libel and anti-competitive practices. Sam Byford, The Verge, "How China’s Bytedance became the world’s most valuable startup," 30 Nov. 2018 Updating your look with a new dye job has become common practice. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "This 19-Year-Old Says She Experienced an Extreme Allergic Reaction to Hair Dye," 30 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of practice

Verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for practice

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about practice

Statistics for practice

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for practice

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for practice

practice

verb

English Language Learners Definition of practice

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to do something again and again in order to become better at it

: to do (something) regularly or constantly as an ordinary part of your life

: to live according to the customs and teachings of (a religion)

practice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of practice (Entry 2 of 2)

: the activity of doing something again and again in order to become better at it

: a regular occasion at which you practice something

: something that is done often or regularly

practice

verb
prac·​tice | \ˈprak-təs \
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

practice

noun

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

practice

verb
prac·​tice
variants: or practise \ˈprak-​təs \
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

practice

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

practice

noun
prac·​tice

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on practice

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

WORD OF THE DAY

having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!