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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 ?
Nearly half of Americans still do not habitually wear sunglasses - and are even less likely to have their children do so, a new Vision Council report says.
The Commission considers that these criteria laid down by EU law are strict enough and thus ensure that only those people who have actually moved their centre of interest to a Member State are considered habitually resident there and no longer resident in the Member State where they previously lived.
In the stipulation, "Judge Singbush admitted that (1) 'since his election in 1991, [he] has been habitually tardy for hearings, first appearances, and trials for which he was the presiding judge'; (2) 'when tardy, [he] was often tardy for more than 15 minutes'; (3) '[his] tardiness inconveniences and economically burdens lawyers, litigants, and the judicial system'; [and] (4) 'the majority of the times [he] was late to [c]ourt were without good cause .
That is tantamount to breaking the law habitually unless the driver thinks he/she will be caught doing so.
Those responsible are, no doubt, the same rude, selfish people who habitually lash out when things don't go their way.
The mother's removal of the children violated the fundamental principle of international law that their future should be decided by the courts of the country in which they are habitually resident, and the Appeal Court ordered their return to Spain.
A team of researchers from across seven European countries found that people who habitually consume oily fish at least once a week are 50% less likely to have wet-AMD than those who ate it less often.
WELCOME news for punters who habitually use independent betting shops.
This is a guy who decorated his own apartment, drinks heavily, habitually deflects attention by asking questions, and beds women but never talks about commitment.
If you habitually portray the entirely predictable as a shock (for example hurricanes) rather than an expected event, then it is difficult to detach the individual disaster from what may be a new and disturbing trend; much easier to elide the two.
The patient habitually used cotton-tipped probes and admitted to traumatizing the outer ear canal on occasion.
With the help of a cat named Noodle (who flushes the toilet and uses a hair dryer) and the Professor (who carries kittens in the pockets of the housedress he habitually wears), the two discover their parents' identities, foil a gangster named Sweetcheeks Grabowski, and share in the downfall of the evil Mrs.