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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.
1. As something actually is or is done in reality, as opposed to in theory. Yes, that was the hypothesis, but these things often turn out quite different in practice. In practice, that rule is not strictly enforced, so a lot of players get away with it.
2. In the state of being prepared due to having practiced something regularly, recently, and/or to a sufficient degree. I used to be able to do this with my eyes closed, but I'm really not in practice.
3. Serving in a professional field, often as a doctor, attorney, etc. Dr. Johnson is retiring after having been in practice for more than 30 years.
out of practice
Not having done something in a long time, and no longer skillful as a result. Wow, I haven't swung a bat in 10 years—I'm out of practice! I wanted to play songs on the guitar for my brother's wedding, but I was too out of practice.
practice makes perfect
Practicing or repeatedly doing something will make one become proficient or skillful at it. A: "I just can't seem to get the rhythm of this song quire right." B: "Keep at it—practice makes perfect!" You can't expect to start a new sport and be amazing at it right away. As is always the case, practice makes perfect.
practice what (one) preaches
To do the things or behave the way that one advises, dictates, or espouses. My parents always told us to respect each other and not to bicker, and they really did practice what they preached. If you're going to tell your employees not to incur excessive, unnecessary costs, then you had better practice what you preach.
make a practice of (doing something)
To do something habitually. I've made a practice of doing 50 pushups every morning when I get out of bed. If you make a practice of investing some of your spare income, you'll be pleasantly surprised how much can build up.
make a habit of (doing something)
To follow a routine in which one does something habitually. I've made a habit of doing 50 pushups every morning when I get out of bed. If you make a habit of investing some of your spare income, you'll be pleasantly surprised how much can build up.
put (something) into practice
To commence doing something that had previously only been discussed, suggested, or planned. We've decided to put your ideas into practice for the next meeting. I've been putting that technique you showed me into practice during my training sessions.
practice on (someone or something)
To train for some activity by doing drills on someone or something. (Spelled "practise" in British English.) A noun or pronoun can be used between "practice" and "on" to specify the activity one is training for. The doctor asked if the trainees could practice checking blood pressure and heart rate on me. I want to make sure the sculpture turns out how I want it, so I've been practicing on these concrete blocks before I move on to the marble.
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.
make a practice of somethingand 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.
*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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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."
practice makes perfect
COMMON People say practice makes perfect to mean that if you practise something enough, you will eventually be able to do it perfectly. It is like learning to ride a bike. You may fall off a few times but practice makes perfect.