• (RP) IPA: /həˈbɪ.tʃʊ.əl/, /həˈbɪ.tʃwəl/, /-tjʊ-/
  • (GA) IPA: /həˈbɪ.tʃʊ.əl/, /həˈbɪ.tʃ(w)əl/


  1. Of or relating to a habit; established as a habit; performed over and over again; recurrent, recurring#Adjective|recurring.
    Her habitual lying was the reason for my mistrust.
    • 1624, John Donne, “11. Prayer.”, in Deuotions upon Emergent Occasions, and Seuerall Steps in My Sicknes: […], London: Printed by A[ugustine] M[atthews] for Thomas Iones, OCLC 55189476 ↗; republished as Geoffrey Keynes, John Sparrow, editor, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions: […], Cambridge: At the University Press, 1923, OCLC 459265555 ↗, lines 28–30, and 1, pages 66–67 ↗:
      I was baptized in thy Cordiall water, against Original sinne, and I have drunke of thy Cordiall Blood, for my recoverie, from actuall, and habituall sinne, in the other Sacrament.
    • 1820, John Crawfurd, “Domestic Ceremonies and Familiar Usages”, in History of the Indian Archipelago. Containing an Account of the Manners, Arts, Languages, Religions, Institutions, and Commerce of Its Inhabitants. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed [by George Ramsay and Company] for Archibald Constable and Co. […]; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. […], OCLC 973230360 ↗, book I (Character), page 106 ↗:
      The habitual use of opium is wholly unlike that of the gentler narcotics, tea, coffee, areca, and even tobacco, and is far more pernicious than that even of any description of fermented liquor.
    • 1841, J[ames] Fenimore Cooper, chapter V, in The Deerslayer: A Tale. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, […], OCLC 3787056 ↗, page 155 ↗:
      Hurry had felt angered at his sufferings, when first liberated, it is true, but that emotion had soon disappeared in the habitual love of gold, which he sought with the reckless avidity of a needy spendthrift, rather than with the ceaseless longings of a miser.
  2. Regular or usual.
    Synonyms: accustomed, customary
    Professor Franklein took his habitual seat at the conference table.
    • 1876, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter XVI, in Daniel Deronda, volume I, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 775411 ↗, book II (Meeting Streams), pages 310–311 ↗:
      There was hardly any creature in his habitual world that he was not fond of; teasing them occasionally, of course—all except his uncle, or "Nunc," as Sir Hugo had taught him to say; [...]
  3. Of a person or thing: engaging in some behaviour as a habit or regularly.
    He’s a habitual chain-smoker.
    • 1851 June – 1852 April, Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Emmeline and Cassy”, in Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life among the Lowly, volume II, Boston, Mass.: John P[unchard] Jewett & Company; Cleveland, Oh.: Jewett, Proctor & Worthington, published 20 March 1852, OCLC 976451739 ↗, page 224 ↗:
      Legree was not a habitual drunkard. His coarse, strong nature craved, and could endure, a continual stimulation, that would have utterly wrecked and crazed a finer one. But a deep, underlying spirit of cautiousness prevented his often yielding to appetite in such measure as to lose control of himself.
  4. (grammar) Pertaining to an action performed customarily, ordinarily, or usually.
    Synonyms: consuetudinal
Related terms

Translations Translations Translations Noun

habitual (plural habituals)

  1. (colloquial) One who does something habitually, such as a serial#Adjective|serial criminal#Adjective|criminal offender.
  2. (grammar) A construction representing something done habitually.

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