by force of habit

by force of habit

Because one does or has done something habitually. Used to describe an unconscious mistake that results from following one's routine rather than choosing the correct action for the circumstances. After living next door to Anna for 50 years, I call our new neighbor "Anna" by force of habit.
See also: by, force, habit, of

by force of habit

owing to a tendency to do something that has become a habit. After I retired, I kept getting up and getting dressed each morning by force of habit.
See also: by, force, habit, of
References in classic literature ?
If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have been put off," said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force of habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.
As Miss Barlow rattled away cheerfully, he crumpled up the copy and tossed it into the waste-paper basket; but not before he had, automatically and by force of habit, altered the word "God" to the word "circumstances.
By force of habit, my eyes scanned the room and focused not on the papers and files that littered his desk but on an ancient marble head, the size of a golf ball, given to him as a gift by a Spanish abbot who had wrenched it off from some ancient Roman sarcophagus.
This is the routine cruelty of a security cabal, its humanity withered by years in power: it is genocide by force of habit.
By force of habit, Al-Basheer starts his day with reading email and organizing his calendar, and feels hapless without his mobile, laptop and iPad, even if he is on a holiday.
But by force of habit, one might expect the switch to always be on auto and thus not bother to double-check.
And I, like millions of mankind, walk and move, generally by force of habit, in a long caravan that ascends and descends, encamps, and then proceeds on its way.
What happened is that, by force of habit, I drove by the bakery today.
2 : doing or acting by force of habit <habitual liars>
True to type, my offspring frequented food courts and bookshops, were approached by the odd child with palms outstretched - and by force of habit put in some spare change just to be left alone and forget that such aberrations of society exist.
By force of habit professionals are prone to rnistake the landscape for the window view opened by their specialization, a view whose relevance and explanatory power they are given to overestimate.
To learn whether the apes were carrying the tools simply by force of habit or because they enjoyed doing so, Call and Mulcahy performed another test, in which they repeatedly removed the grapes after a first showing behind the Plexiglas.
Gathering up the radio, his C-9 (and by force of habit, all the spent brass casings), Yeo started to crawl back to safety.
They ring their mates in the council who in turn badger the cops who, by force of habit, send in the Land Rovers and scare the bejesus out of everyone.
We condition ourselves by force of habit to trivialize those things we don't fully understand and which we cannot otherwise adequately appreciate.