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

Example Sentences

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
Presence in various communication channels helps the brand stay in touch, even with clients who practice digital detox. Boris Abaev, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023 Research shows that people who practice yoga for at least half an hour once a week for at least four years gain less weight in midlife than people who don’t. Rachel Reiff Ellis, Fortune, 21 Jan. 2023 Cornerback Trayvon Mullen was the only player on the roster who didn’t practice Friday in the Cowboys’ only padded work of the week. Dallas News, 13 Jan. 2023 Shallow water blackout, however, occurs in people who practice pre-submersion hyperventilation. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 And their political involvement has alienated many Jews abroad who practice less stringent forms of Judaism. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Colts who did not practice Wednesday because of injury: WR Ashton Dulin (concussion), TE Kylen Granson (ankle), CB Kenny Moore II (ankle). Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Dec. 2022 Others who did not practice: safety Kerby Joseph (back), center Frank Ragnow (foot), wide receiver Josh Reynolds (illness), offensive lineman Logan Stenberg (illness) and linebacker Josh Woods (biceps). Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 28 Dec. 2022 And while Hoodoo’s deep, magical connections between food and spirit are recognized and practiced by Black people, they should be honored by those who eat Hoppin’ John outside of the culture as well, even those who don’t practice Hoodoo. Amethyst Ganaway, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022
Noun
Middleton responded well to his five-on-five practice with members of the Bucks and the Wisconsin Herd while in Miami, and the Bucks return home for a week that includes three off days. Jim Owczarski, Journal Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2023 In addition to his regular practice, Mr. Goldman also did design work for residential rebuilds and new homes for many friends and clients throughout Baltimore. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 13 Jan. 2023 In taking on the role, Hur will work full-time at the department and at least temporarily leave his private practice at Gibson Dunn. Perry Stein, Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2023 Flynn dealt with hundreds of patients in her practice and the cases that resulted in her conviction represented a limited slice of her work. Quinn Owen, ABC News, 11 Jan. 2023 The Cowboys hoped to re-sign an offensive lineman to their practice squad Tuesday. Dallas News, 10 Jan. 2023 My favorite thing about visiting Japan in 2017 was seeing the art of kintsugi, which is their practice of putting back together broken things with gold and varnish. Rachel Sherman, New York Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Ish Wainright concurred with Craig during their Saturday practice. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 8 Jan. 2023 Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez, an immigration attorney in Miramar, Florida, uses TikTok to market her law practice to her 83,000 followers. Faith Karimi, CNN, 7 Jan. 2023 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.

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 6 Feb. 2023.

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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