1 STH YOU DO REGULARLY (C, U) something that you do regularly, often without thinking about it because you have done it so many times before: Dalton was a man of regular habits. | out of habit/from habit (=because it is a habit): After we moved I kept driving to the old house out of habit. | be in the habit of doing sth: Jeff was in the habit of taking a walk after dinner. | get into/get in/out of the habit (=start/stop doing something regularly): Since I stopped taking lessons, I've gotten out of the habit of practising my saxophone. | She got in the habit of having a drink with us on Fridays. | eating/drinking habits (=how often, how much, and what you eat or drink): When she is busy, her eating habits become erratic.
2 ANNOYING BEHAVIOUR (C) something that someone does regularly and that other people find annoying: have a habit of doing sth: Glenna has an annoying habit of talking to herself while she's working. | a bad/filthy/disgusting habit: Don't bite your fingernails - it's a disgusting habit.
3 DRUGS a strong physical need to keep taking a drug regularly: Many of them get into petty crime to support their habit. | heroin/cocaine etc habit: His cocaine habit ruined him physically and financially. | kick the habit (=stop taking a drug regularly)
4 break the habit to stop doing something that is annoying or bad for your health: a new system that's supposed to help you break the smoking habit
5 don't make a habit of (doing) sth spoken used to tell someone who has done something bad or wrong that they should not do it again: You're ten minutes late. I hope you're not going to make a habit of this.
6 I'm not in the habit of doing sth spoken used when you are offended because someone has suggested that you have done something that you have not done: I'm not in the habit of lying to my friends.
7 old habits die hard used to say that it is difficult to make people change their attitudes or behaviour
8 CLOTHES (C) a long loose piece of clothing worn by people in some religious groups: a nun's habit
9 habit of thought/mind the way someone usually thinks about something, or the attitudes they usually have
—see also: a creature of habit creature (5), by/from force of habit force 1 (9) USAGE NOTE: HABIT WORD CHOICE: habit, custom, tradition, practice, convention A habit is usually something someone does again and again, perhaps without them realizing it He has an annoying habit of biting his nails. A custom is usually something which has been done for a long time by a group - for example, a school, company, or society, perhaps every year: the custom of holding exams in June | a local custom A tradition is similar to a custom, but may be older and passed down from parents to their children: the tradition of eating turkey at Thanksgiving | a family tradition A practice is the usual way of doing things in business, law etc: The normal practice in this company is to send the bill as soon as the job is done. The conventions of a society are its generally accepted rules of behaviour: It is a matter of convention for people attending funerals to wear dark clothes.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • Habit — may refer to: * Habit (psychology), an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically * Habituation, non associative learning in which there is a progressive diminution of behavioral response probability with repetition of a… …   Wikipedia

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