a. The natural environment in which a species or group of species lives: good coyote habitat; managing wildlife habitat.
b. A particular kind of natural environment: woodland and prairie habitats.
c. An artificial environment created for an animal to live in: the lion habitat at the zoo.
2. A structure that affords a controlled environment for living in extremely inhospitable locations, such as an underwater research laboratory.
3. The place where a person lives or is most likely to be found: "This park became his habitat—a bench-sitter at 17" (Neal Cassady).
[Latin, it dwells, third person sing. present of habitāre, to dwell; see HABITABLE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 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.