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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A repetitious behavior pattern.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

habit, habit of growth

The distinctive appearance and pattern of growth of a plant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
You habitually carried a knife, as you told the jury, for your own protection.
STEVE DAVIES'S VERDICT THIS fixture is habitually a goals feast and since Hibs have scored six at Fir Park twice in the past six seasons, take them to score more than their hosts.
A circuit court judge will receive a public reprimand from the Supreme Court after stipulating to charges from the Judicial Qualifications Commission that he was habitually late for hearings and trials.
Under German law, a person who is not permanently or habitually resident in Germany is entitled to family benefit if he or she is subject to unlimited income tax liability in Germany, unless comparable family benefits can be collected in another member state.
ANSWERS: 1 Rummy; 2 Habitually write a different word from the one intended; 3 New Orleans; 4 Bread dipped in a mixture of melted cheese and wine; 5 The budgerigar; 6 Napoleon III; 7 A tropical African hardwood; 8 Canada; 9 Kirk Douglas; 10 A statue.
The take-home message: Review with your physician alternatives to opioid pain medications before knee replacement, and consider an earlier referral to an orthopaedic surgeon before using opioids habitually.
Malcolm Marshall, UK head of information security at KPMG, said: "The UK is behind other countries, such as South Korea, who utilise near-field communications habitually. The question is: how long until the UK follows suit?
Washington, Dec 10 (ANI): Lindsay Lohan, who was paying an extra 500 dollars per day for additional security at California's Betty Ford Clinic, was distressed as her security was habitually showing up to work late.
That is tantamount to breaking the law habitually unless the driver thinks he/she will be caught doing so.
To counteract the problems cartoon characters Rush Gordon, a pushy, inconsiderate passenger, and Wander Woman, who habitually loses her children, visited Middlesbrough train station to remind travellers of the dangers.