1. An act, behavioral response, practice, or custom established in one's repertoire by frequent repetition of the same act. SEE ALSO: addiction. 2. A basic variable in the study of conditioning and learning used to designate a new response learned either by association or by being followed by a reward or reinforced event. See conditioning, learning. [L. habeo, pp. habitus, to have]

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hab·it 'hab-ət n
1) bodily appearance or makeup esp. as indicative of one's capacities and condition <a man of fleshy \habit>
2) a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior
3 a) a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiological exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance <the daily bowel \habit>
b) an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary <locked the door through force of \habit>
c) ADDICTION <was forced to steal to support his drug \habit>
4) characteristic mode of growth or occurrence

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a sequence of learned behaviour occurring in a particular context or as a response to particular events. Habits organize life, often in minute detail. They are often the result of conditioning, are performed automatically and unconsciously, and reduce decision-making. Habits, once established, often persist after the original causal factors no longer operate. Behavioural psychology is based on the premise that one form of conditioning can be replaced by another.

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hab·it (habґit) [L. habitus, from habere to hold] 1. a fixed or constant practice established by frequent repetition. 2. predisposition or bodily temperament; see also type.

Medical dictionary. 2011.