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1. Psychol a learned behavioural response that has become associated with a particular situation, esp one frequently repeated
2. Botany Zoology the method of growth, type of existence, behaviour, or general appearance of a plant or animal
3. Crystallog short for crystal habit



an established mode of behavior whose performance by an individual in a certain situation becomes a need. Habits arise from the repeated practice of an action. In contrast to such practice, however, the decisive moment in the formation of a habit is not so much the mastering of an ability or a mode of action as it is the development of a new, functional need to practice this ability under certain conditions. An example is the alleged need to wash one’s hands before eating.

Habits are usually involuntary and for the most part unconscious. They may be the result of upbringing, but they often arise spontaneously. They may be restricted to certain situations, such as the habit of turning off a light when leaving a room, or they may characterize an individual’s overall behavior; examples are the habit of walking rapidly or of speaking softly. Habits develop in all types of activity and embrace all aspects of life. In terms of both social behavioral norms and personality formation, some habits are valuable, leading to the formation of positive character traits. Others are harmful and may develop into undesirable proclivities. Certain habits, particularly those relating to morals, may become permanent character traits.



A repetitious behavior pattern.

habit, habit of growth

The distinctive appearance and pattern of growth of a plant.
References in periodicals archive ?
PHILIP GOLDING, the Englishman who has made a record 16 visits to the European tour qualifying school, could break the habit of a lifetime today - and win the French Open.
Well, it would be wrong to break the habit of a lifetime there is golf to be played.
We don't want to break the habit after six League wins.
It has given me a chance to break the habit, and gives me the chance to talk about my problems.
Someone who has never had to go without may not realise how difficult it is to break the habit.
I do know how to have fun but I was brought up to believe money doesn't grow on trees and it's hard to break the habit.
Eastenders is to break the habit of a lifetime and give viewers some Festive cheer this year.
Today I'm going to break the habit of a lifetime and actually tip a Bell boy.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued advice to all health workers recommending they make time to speak to patients about how to break the habit.
Breaking the mould means starting to break the habits of a lifetime - requiring professional, expert help for what may be a long and difficult journey.