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habit noun

ADJ. annoying, anti-social, bad, dirty, disconcerting, horrible, irritating, nasty, unfortunate Life has a nasty habit of repeating itself. | charming (often ironic), endearing, good one of his more endearing habits her charming habit of setting fire to cats | eccentric, odd | old | daily, regular | personal, sexual, social I found some of his personal habits rather disconcerting. | buying, shopping, spending an effort to change the buying habits of the British public | dietary, drinking, eating, feeding | reading, viewing women's television viewing habits | drug, smoking trying to kick the smoking habit

VERB + HABIT be in, have She had been in the habit of drinking five or six cups of coffee a day. She's got some very annoying habits.

He had an irritating habit of singing tunelessly about the house. | acquire, develop, fall into, form, get into, make I had fallen into my old bad habit of leaving everything until the last minute.

Try to get into good habits and eat regular healthy meals. Make a habit of noting down any telephone messages. | become Don't let eating between meals become a habit. | break (yourself of), get out of, give up, kick a difficult habit to break

You must break yourself of the habit. I had got out of the habit of going to the pub. | change

HABIT + VERB change Even last year the nation's eating habits changed significantly.

PREP. by ~ Much of what we do in daily life is done by habit. | out of ~ I sat in my old seat purely out of habit.

PHRASES a creature of habit Horses are creatures of habit and like to have a daily routine. | force of habit Mr Norris bellowed from force of habit. | the habit of a lifetime It's hard to change the habits of a lifetime.