W3S3 [ˈhæbıt] n
3 not make a habit of (doing) something
4 I'm not in the habit of doing something
5 have a habit of doing something
6 old habits die hard
7 habit of thought/mind
[Date: 1100-1200; : Old French; Origin: Latin habitus 'condition, character', from habere 'to have']
1.) ¦(USUAL/REGULAR)¦ [U and C]
something that you do regularly or usually, often without thinking about it because you have done it so many times before
Regular exercise is a good habit for kids to develop.
Thinking negatively can become a habit .
Jeff was in the habit of taking a walk after dinner.
She has a habit of playing with her hair when she's nervous.
Since I stopped taking lessons, I've got out of the habit of practising my saxophone.
Try to break the habit of adding salt to your food at the table.
Why break the habit of a lifetime and start being cautious now?
Some people drink alcohol as much from habit as from desire.
'Hello, Miss Smith.' - 'I'm Mrs Jones now.' - 'Sorry, force of habit .'
the spending habits of the average British woman
2.) ¦(DRUGS)¦
a strong physical need to keep taking a drug regularly
A lot of drug addicts get into petty crime to support their habit.
heroin/cocaine etc habit
His cocaine habit ruined him physically and financially.
3.) not make a habit of (doing) sth
spoken used to say that someone does not usually do something bad or wrong, or should not do it again
I don't make a habit of this sort of thing.
You're ten minutes late. I hope you're not going to make a habit of this.
4.) I'm not in the habit of doing sth
spoken used when you are annoyed, to say that you would not do something
I'm not in the habit of lying to my friends.
5.) have a habit of doing sth
if something has a habit of doing something, it usually or often does it - used humorously
Life has a habit of springing surprises.
6.) old habits die hard
used to say that it is difficult to make people change their attitudes or behaviour
She knew it probably wasn't necessary any more, but old habits die hard.
7.) habit of thought/mind
the way someone usually thinks about something, or their usual attitudes
8.) ¦(CLOTHING)¦
a long loose piece of clothing worn by people in some religious groups
a nun's habit
a creature of habit atcreature
COLLOCATES for sense 1
good/bad habit
become a habit
be in the habit of doing something also have a/the habit of doing something (=do something regularly)
get into/in the habit (of doing something) (=start doing something regularly)
get out of the habit (of doing something) (=stop doing something regularly)
develop/form a habit
change a habit
break/kick a habit (=stop doing something which is bad for you)
change/break the habit(s) of a lifetime (=stop doing what you have done for many years)
out of habit/from habit (=because it is a habit)
(by/from) force of habit (=because it is a habit which is difficult to change)
eating/drinking habits (=the kinds of things you eat or drink regularly)
buying/spending habits (=the kinds of things you buy regularly)
viewing habits (=the kind of television shows you regularly watch)
social habits
WORD CHOICE: habit, custom, tradition, practice
A habit is something that you do often, because you have done it many times before.
Do not use habit when you are talking about actions or ways of doing things that have existed among a group of people for a very long time. Use tradition or custom .
Use tradition when the thing you are referring to has existed for many years, especially when it has been passed down from parents to children : It is a tradition in his family for all first-born males to be called Peter. Use custom to refer to something that is considered normal or polite, especially when you are talking about other countries or other times : the Japanese custom of taking off your shoes when you enter someone's house Use practice to talk about the usual way of doing something in a particular area of life : the practice of killing animals for their fur

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.