v. prac·ticed, prac·tic·ing, prac·tic·es
1. To do or perform habitually or customarily; make a habit of: practices courtesy in social situations.
2. To do or perform (something) repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill: practice a dance step.
3. To give lessons or repeated instructions to; drill: practiced the students in handwriting.
4. To work at, especially as a profession: practice law.
5. To carry out in action; observe: practices a religion piously.
6. Obsolete To plot (something evil).
1. To do something repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill: With any musical instrument, you need to practice to get better.
2. To work at a profession: How long has that lawyer been practicing?
3. To do or perform something habitually or repeatedly: Why not practice in the same manner that you preach?
4. Archaic To intrigue or plot.
1. A habitual or customary action or way of doing something: makes a practice of being punctual.
a. Repeated performance of an activity in order to learn or perfect a skill: Practice will make you a good musician.
b. A session of preparation or performance undertaken to acquire or polish a skill: goes to piano practice weekly; scheduled a soccer practice for Saturday.
c. Archaic The skill so learned or perfected.
d. The condition of being skilled through repeated exercise: out of practice.
3. The act or process of doing something; performance or action: a theory that is difficult to put into practice.
4. Exercise of an occupation or profession: the practice of law.
5. The business of a professional person: an obstetrician with her own practice.
6. A habitual or customary action or act: That company engages in questionable business practices. Facial tattooing is a standard practice among certain peoples.
7. Law The procedure for trial of cases in a court of law, usually specified by rules.
a. The act of tricking or scheming, especially with malicious intent.
b. A trick, scheme, or intrigue.
[Middle English practisen, from Old French practiser, alteration of practiquer, from practique, practice, from Medieval Latin prāctica; see PRACTICABLE.]
Synonyms: practice, exercise, rehearse
These verbs mean to do repeatedly to acquire or maintain proficiency: practice the shot put; exercising one's wits; rehearsed the play for 14 days. See Also Synonyms at habit.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.