practice

verb
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)

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

There were rubber dummies for practicing CPR and there were emergency checklists that advised all San Francisco residents to keep the obvious stuff on hand — like food and water. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco hands out fake earthquakes to prepare for the real thing," 11 June 2019 The wives and daughters of practicing male playwrights could have learned the tricks of the trade close-up. Phyllis Rackin, The Atlantic, "The Hidden Women Writers of the Elizabethan Theater," 8 June 2019 Some of these retreats are for practicing total silence for a set amount of time while others may involve an occasional exchange. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Retreating into silence is increasingly appealing…but where do you go?," 6 June 2019 At home, Beijing persecutes members of the Uighur minority for practicing their faith. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "China Oppresses Muslims at Home, Countenances Terror Abroad," 21 Mar. 2019 After practicing the religion, the mind becomes controlled, strong, and serene—and is then represented by a white elephant. National Geographic, "6 surprisingly lucky animals around the world," 13 Mar. 2019 Fourteen days after practicing for the first time at a new position, Brown lined up at right tackle in Virginia Tech’s 2005 season opener, across from the premier pass-rusher in all of college football. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks veteran leader Duane Brown doesn’t move like an offensive lineman. Here’s why.," 12 Dec. 2018 The spiralized veggies in this tangled beet salad are ideal for practicing your twirling skills. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "Inventive summer salads for a fresh take on dinner," 2 July 2018 On Jenna's Instagram Stories, there are videos of her and other dancers practicing, as well as what looks like what might be might be another potential actor, Adam Jacobs—who clearly is not primarily a dancer—trying to follow along. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Shares a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Her New Netflix Musical Drama," 30 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Monday’s practice was the first step to doing that. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball moves past Vanderbilt loss, looks to bring energy against Auburn," 17 June 2019 Days after McFaul resigned, interim Sheriff Frank Bova banned McFaul's questionable practices. Robert Higgs, cleveland.com, "Opponents of plan to return to elected Cuyahoga County sheriff stir memories of the corrupt days of Gerald McFaul," 17 June 2019 President Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China and has said a new round of tariffs are needed to force the nation to end unfair trade practices. Fox News, "US-China trade war - and its impact - to be on display; AOC has warning for Dems," 17 June 2019 Large numbers resort to rationing - a dangerous and sometimes deadly practice. Emily Rauhala, Anchorage Daily News, "As insulin costs soar, American diabetics caravan to Canada for lifesaving medicine," 17 June 2019 Hitting the luxury tax mark isn't ideal, but the costs are mostly financial in nature (like getting left out of some revenue-sharing practices). Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These are the terms Bucks fans are likely to hear (and need to know) during NBA free agency," 17 June 2019 Last week, the Lions announced three joint practices with the New England Patriots on Aug. 5-7 in Allen Park. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Picking winners in Detroit Lions offseason workouts: Yes, Teez Tabor," 17 June 2019 Outlawing discriminatory practices that had subjected women to the humiliation of bringing a man along to apply for credit, the measure enabled women to become entrepreneurs and consumers. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, The Atlantic, "The World That Jazzercise Built," 16 June 2019 Always shagged during batting practice. Grew up in the Cubs clubhouse. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Brandon Hyde copes with challenges of being a father and father figure in first season as Orioles manager," 16 June 2019

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

19 Jun 2019

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 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

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 How to pronounce practise (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

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 desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!