practice

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sharp practice

Underhanded, deceitful, cunning, or particularly sneaky practice, especially in business, that is technically within the scope of the law but which may be considered immoral or unethical. The investment banking sector has been tightly reined in by the government after the sharp practice that went unchecked for so many years and cost so many people their life savings.
See also: practice, sharp

in practice

 
1. in the actual doing of something; in reality. Our policy is to be very particular, but in practice we don't care that much. The instructions say not to set it too high. In practice I always set it as high as possible.
2. well-rehearsed; well-practiced; well-exercised. The swimmer was not in practice and almost drowned. I play the piano for a living, and I have to keep in practice.
See also: practice

make a practice of something

 and make something a practice
to turn something into a habitual activity. Jane makes a practice of planting daisies every summer. Her mother also made it a practice.
See also: make, of, practice

*out of practice

performing poorly due to a lack of practice. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; go ~.) I used to be able to play the piano extremely well, but now I'm out of practice. The baseball players lost the game because they were out of practice.
See also: of, out, practice

Practice makes perfect.

Prov. Cliché Doing something over and over again is the only way to learn to do it well. Jill: I'm not going to try to play the piano anymore. I always make so many mistakes. Jane: Don't give up. Practice makes perfect. Child: How come you're so good at peeling potatoes? Father: I did it a lot in the army, and practice makes perfect.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practice (up)on someone or something

to train or drill on someone or something. (In preparation for the real thing. Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) I do not want a dental student practicing upon me. I want to learn how to braid hair. Can I practice on you?
See also: on, practice

Practice what you preach.

Prov. Cliché You yourself should do the things you advise other people to do. Dad always told us we should only watch an hour of television every day, but we all knew he didn't practice what he preached.
See also: practice, preach

put something into practice

to make a suggested procedure the actual procedure. That is a good policy. I suggest you put it into practice immediately. I plan to put the new technique into practice as soon as I can.
See also: practice, put

in practice

1. actually In theory, the license fee is only $5 but, because other costs get added on, in practice it is more like $20. Opposite of: in theory
2. prepared It must have been six years since I took a girl out, and I wasn't in practice for the dating game.
Opposite of: out of practice
See also: practice

make a practice of doing something

to do something regularly or as a habit I don't make a practice of recommending restaurants, but this one is really special.
See also: make, of, practice

out of practice

not prepared When I take time off from work, I get out of practice and have trouble getting up in the morning.
Opposite of: in practice
See also: of, out, practice

practice what you preach

to behave the way you tell other people to behave Other countries need to see that we practice what we preach when it comes to human rights. I practice what I preach in that I exercise almost every day.
See also: practice, preach

Practice makes perfect.

something that you say which means if you do something many times you will learn to do it very well You can't expect to become a brilliant dancer overnight, but practice makes perfect.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practise what you preach

  (British & Australian) also practice what you preach (American)
to do what you advise other people to do I would have more respect for him if he practised what he preaches.
See also: preach

in practice

1. Actually, in fact, especially as opposed to theoretically or in principle. For example, In practice this contraption seems to work, although no one knows how or why. [Second half of 1500s] Also see put into practice.
2. In the exercise of a particular profession, as in She's an obstetrician and has been in practice for at least ten years. [c. 1700]
3. In a state of being exercised so as to maintain one's skill, as in This trumpeter is always in practice. [Early 1600s] For an antonym, see out of practice.
See also: practice

make a practice of

Habitually do something, as in Bill makes a practice of checking the oil and gas before every long trip. [c. 1900]
See also: make, of, practice

out of practice

No longer used to doing something, no longer adept for lack of doing something, as in Mom hadn't baked a cake in years-she said she was out of practice. [Late 1800s] Also see in practice.
See also: of, out, practice

practice makes perfect

Frequently doing something makes one better at doing it, as in I've knit at least a hundred sweaters, but in my case practice hasn't made perfect. This proverbial expression was once put as Use makes mastery, but by 1560 the present form had become established.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practice what you preach

Behave as you would have others behave, as in You keep telling us to clean up, but I wish you'd practice what you preach. This idiom expresses an ancient idea but appeared in this precise form only in 1678. Also see do as I say.
See also: practice, preach

put into practice

Also, put in practice. Carry out in action, as in It's time we put these new ideas into practice. Shakespeare used this idiom in Two Gentlemen of Verona (3:2): "Thy advice, this night, I'll put in practice." [Mid-1500s]
See also: practice, put

sharp practice

Crafty or deceitful dealings, especially in business. For example, That firm's known for its sharp practice, so I'd rather not deal with them. This expression, first recorded in 1836, uses sharp in the combined sense of "mentally acute" and "cutting."
See also: practice, sharp
References in classic literature ?
Jones's and went to my new governess, for so they called her in the house, and there I was indeed treated with so much courtesy, so carefully looked to, so handsomely provided, and everything so well, that I was surprised at it, and could not at first see what advantage my governess made of it; but I found afterwards that she professed to make no profit of lodgers' diet, nor indeed could she get much by it, but that her profit lay in the other articles of her management, and she made enough that way, I assure you; for 'tis scarce credible what practice she had, as well abroad as at home, and yet all upon the private account, or, in plain English, the whoring account.
We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity.
In Germany it is a law of the empire, that the princes and states shall not lay tolls or customs on bridges, rivers, or passages, without the consent of the emperor and the diet; though it appears from a quotation in an antecedent paper, that the practice in this, as in many other instances in that confederacy, has not followed the law, and has produced there the mischiefs which have been foreseen here.
While speaking, Elnathan placed a pair of large iron-rimmed spectacles on his face, where they dropped, as it were by long practice, to the extremity of his slim pug nose; and, if they were of no service as assistants to his eyes, neither were they any impediment to his vision; for his little gray organs were twinkling above them like two stars emerging from the envious cover of a cloud.
None, directly; but it would hold the struggling body in place till the rest of my scheme came into practice.
Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man well-established in a London practice could hold such a position, and such a one would not drift into the country.
I married, and so left the hospital, and with it all hopes of a consulting practice.
But it was clear that when he had got through the exuberance of his youth, and was at last qualified, he would be a tremendous success in practice.
And he was not going to have his vanities provoked by contact with the showy worldly successes of the capital, but to live among people who could hold no rivalry with that pursuit of a great idea which was to be a twin object with the assiduous practice of his profession.
But results which depend on human conscience and intelligence work slowly, and now at the end of 1829, most medical practice was still strutting or shambling along the old paths, and there was still scientific work to be done which might have seemed to be a direct sequence of Bichat's.
His daughters and his friends were careful--over-careful, as he thought--of intruding on him in his hours of practice.
Because people don't fall off quite so often, when they've had much practice.
I've had plenty of practice,' the Knight said very gravely:
Most artists have this secret in practice, though some, perhaps, have not much studied the theory.
Though in their general features our laws on this subject are known to me," pursued Alexey Alexandrovitch, "I should be glad to have an idea of the forms in which such things are done in practice.