Hab"it (hăb"ĭt) n. [OE.
habit, abit, F. habit fr. L. habitus
state, appearance, dress, fr. habere to have, be in a
condition; prob. akin to E. have. See Have, and cf.
Able, Binnacle, Debt, Due,
Exhibit, Malady.] 1. The usual
condition or state of a person or thing, either natural or acquired,
regarded as something had, possessed, and firmly retained; as, a
religious habit; his habit is morose; elms have a
spreading habit; esp., physical temperament or constitution;
as, a full habit of body.
2. (Biol.) The general appearance and
manner of life of a living organism.
3. Fixed or established custom; ordinary
course of conduct; practice; usage; hence, prominently, the
involuntary tendency or aptitude to perform certain actions which is
acquired by their frequent repetition; as, habit is second
nature; also, peculiar ways of acting; characteristic forms of
A man of very shy, retired habits.
4. Outward appearance; attire; dress; hence,
a garment; esp., a closely fitting garment or dress worn by ladies;
as, a riding habit.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can
There are, among the statues, several of Venus, in
different habits. Addison.
Syn. -- Practice; mode; manner; way; custom; fashion. --
Habit, Custom. Habit is a disposition or
tendency leading us to do easily, naturally, and with growing
certainty, what we do often; custom is external, being
habitual use or the frequent repetition of the same act. The two
operate reciprocally on each other. The custom of giving
produces a habit of liberality; habits of devotion
promote the custom of going to church. Custom also
supposes an act of the will, selecting given modes of procedure;
habit is a law of our being, a kind of "second nature" which
grows up within us.
How use doth breed a habit in a man
He who reigns . . . upheld by old repute, Milton.
Consent, or custom.
Hab"it (hăb"ĭt), v. t.
[imp. & p. p. Habited; p. pr. & vb.
n. Habiting.] [OE. habiten to dwell, F.
habiter, fr. L. habitare to have frequently, to dwell,
intens. fr. habere to have. See Habit,
n.] 1. To inhabit.
In thilke places as they [birds]
habiten. Rom. of R.
2. To dress; to clothe; to array.
They habited themselves like those rural
3. To accustom; to habituate. [Obs.]