habit

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creature of habit

One who prefers the comfort and reliability of routine and habitual behavior. My brother is far too much a creature of habit to be up for something like backpacking across Europe. I know we're told to shuck our routines and live spontaneously, but I'm a creature of habit—it's just easier when you know exactly how each day will pan out.
See also: creature, habit, of

break (a/the) habit

To stop doing a routine action or activity. I struggled to break the habit of biting my nails, but getting regular manicures helped.
See also: break, 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: force, habit, of

force of habit

An impulse to do something because one does or has done it 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: force, habit, of

Why break the habit of a lifetime?

A rhetorical question expressing doubt that someone will change their bad habit. Typically said after that person has announced their intention to stop such a habit. A: "That's it. That's my last cigarette." B: "Why break the habit of a lifetime?"
See also: break, habit, of, why

kick the habit

slang To overcome an addiction, typically to drugs. It took gum, patches, and counseling, but I've finally kicked the habit—no more cigarettes. Unfortunately, the nature of addiction means that kicking the habit isn't as simple as just wanting to stop.
See also: habit, kick

break a habit

 and break the habit; break one's habit
to end a habit. I was not able to break the habit of snoring. It's hard to break a habit that you have had for a long time.
See also: break, habit

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: force, habit, of

kick a habit

 and kick the habit; shake the habit; shake a habit
to break a habit. It's hard to kick a habit, but it can be done. I stopped biting my nails. I used to drink coffee every morning, but I kicked the habit.
See also: habit, kick

knock the habit

to stop using drugs; to break a drug addiction. I just can't knock the habit. He tried to knock the habit by drinking lots of booze.
See also: habit, knock

make a habit of something

to do something so often that it becomes a habit. You mustn't make a habit of interrupting. I make a habit of counting my change.
See also: habit, make, of

Old habits die hard.

Prov. People find it difficult to change their accustomed behavior. Joan retired last year, but she still gets up as early as she used to when she had to go to work. Old habits die hard.
See also: die, habit, hard, old

kick a habit

Also, kick it; kick the habit. Overcome or give up habitual use, especially of narcotics. For example, Smoking is addictive; it's not easy to kick, or If he doesn't kick the habit, he may not make it through school. This idiom uses kick in the sense of "get rid of." [First half of 1900s]
See also: habit, kick

old habits die hard

COMMON People say old habits die hard to mean that people often do not like to change things that they have been doing for a long time. Despite ideas of equality, old habits die hard and women still carry the main burden of looking after home and family. The Council had introduced a few small changes, but old habits die hard. Note: You can use other words instead of habit. Women are still unequal in socialist countries and old attitudes die hard. They are the first to admit that old national prejudices die hard. Note: Die-hard is used to describe people who continue to support a person or a belief that is no longer popular with most people. The band broke up in 1970 and die-hard fans have been waiting for a reunion ever since. A few diehard conservatives cling to traditional ideology.
See also: die, habit, hard, old

creature of habit

a person who follows an unvarying routine.
See also: creature, habit, of

kick the habit

stop engaging in a habitual practice. informal
1992 Economist Perhaps it is time for ex-French West Africa to choose its own forms of government…and kick the habit of turning to France whenever trouble starts.
See also: habit, kick

a creature of ˈhabit

a person who always does certain things at certain times: My grandfather is a real creature of habit — he likes his meals at the same time every day.
See also: creature, habit, of

old ˌhabits, traˌditions, etc. die ˈhard

used to say that things change very slowly: ‘Even though she’s retired, she still gets up at 6 a.m.’ ‘Well, I guess old habits die hard.’ ▶ ˈdiehard noun, adj.: A few diehards are trying to stop the reforms.diehard supporters of the exiled king
See also: die, hard, old

force of ˈhabit

a tendency always to do things in a certain way because you have always done them in that way: I don’t know why I check all the locks every time I leave the house. It’s force of habit, I suppose.
See also: force, habit, of

make a ˈhabit/ˈpractice of something

do something regularly: I don’t usually make a practice of staying up so late, but there was a programme on TV I wanted to watch.

kick the ˈhabit, ˈdrug, ˈbooze, etc.

stop doing something harmful that you have done for a long time: According to research, only one smoker in a hundred is able to kick the habit without some kind of help.
See also: kick

habit

n. an addiction to a drug. There are many treatment programs to help with drug habits.

kick the habit

tv. to voluntarily end any habit or custom, especially a drug habit. (see also knock the habit.) She tried and tried to kick the habit.
See also: habit, kick

knock the habit

tv. to stop using drugs; to break a drug addiction. (see also kick the habit.) I just can’t knock the habit.
See also: habit, knock

mickey mouse habit

n. a trivial drug habit. (Drugs.) Nothing to it. Just a little mickey mouse habit. I can stop any time I want.
See also: habit, mickey, mouse

nose habit

n. an addiction to sniffed drugs, usually heroin or cocaine. (Drugs.) One sniff of that white powder and she’ll get a nose habit, for sure.
See also: habit, nose

kick the habit

Slang
To free oneself of an addiction, as to narcotics or cigarettes.
See also: habit, kick