prax·​is ˈprak-səs How to pronounce praxis (audio)
plural praxes ˈprak-ˌsēz How to pronounce praxis (audio)
: action, practice: such as
: exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill
: customary practice or conduct
: practical application of a theory

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We all know that praxis makes perfect, right? Oh wait, it’s practice, not praxis, that makes perfect! Worry not about confusing the two: as part of our educational praxis (how we act on our belief in the importance of providing information about language), we’ll sort them out here. Both praxis and practice come ultimately from the Greek verb prassein (“to do” or “to practice”), and both can refer to a habit or custom—that is, a usual way of doing something or of conducting oneself. Praxis, however, is more at home in formal, and often academic, writing; a sentence like “it is my praxis to eat breakfast cereal every morning” might make sense, but it’s not idiomatic. Praxis also has two meanings that are more specific; it can refer to the practice of an art, science, or skill, and it can also refer to the practical application of a theory, as in “democratic praxis” or “revolutionary praxis.”

Examples of praxis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The process is in many ways a form of therapy, offering her the space to channel visceral care into a deliberately slow artistic praxis. Essence, 13 Feb. 2024 And 62,000 members and prospective members would represent quite a bit of praxis, given that in July, the company listed only 431 members on an internal company roster. Joseph Bernstein, New York Times, 12 Dec. 2023 That’s not just work-life balance, that’s praxis. 4. Vulture, 27 Oct. 2023 Inspired by the community fridge movement in Inglewood, the team wanted to build a safe structure that would grow food for neighbors and foster conversations around abolitionist praxis. Abigail Glasgow, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 Aug. 2023 What drew them together was their global political vision and praxis, deeply rooted in a history of resistance to oppression. Keisha N. Blain, The New Republic, 3 Aug. 2023 The commission isn’t the only local arts institution to embrace praxis as a mission statement. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2023 Cohen’s praxis is grounded in the belief that the relationship between the director and the participant should constantly be examined—and working with her family for the first time required her to change her approach. Azza Cohen text By Yinuo Shi, The New Yorker, 11 Jan. 2023

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

Word History


Medieval Latin, from Greek, doing, action, from prassein to do, practice — more at practical

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of praxis was circa 1586


Dictionary Entries Near praxis

Cite this Entry

“Praxis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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