AskDefine | Define practice

Dictionary Definition



1 a customary way of operation or behavior; "it is their practice to give annual raises"; "they changed their dietary pattern" [syn: pattern]
2 systematic training by multiple repetitions; "practice makes perfect" [syn: exercise, drill, practice session, recitation]
3 translating an idea into action; "a hard theory to put into practice"; "differences between theory and praxis of communism" [syn: praxis]
4 the exercise of a profession; "the practice of the law"; "I took over his practice when he retired"
5 knowledge of how something is usually done; "it is not the local practice to wear shorts to dinner"


1 learn by repetition; "We drilled French verbs every day"; "Pianists practice scales" [syn: drill, exercise, practise]
2 avail oneself to; "apply a principle"; "practice a religion"; "use care when going down the stairs"; "use your common sense"; "practice non-violent resistance" [syn: apply, use]
3 carry out or practice; as of jobs and professions; "practice law" [syn: practise, exercise, do]
4 engage in a rehearsal (of) [syn: rehearse, practise]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings

  • (Commonwealth) practise (used only for the verb)


See practise.



  1. Repetition of an activity to improve skill.
    He will need lots of practice with those lines before he performs them.
  2. The ongoing pursuit of a craft or profession, particularly in medicine or the fine arts.
    She ran a thriving medical practice.
  3. The observance of religious duties which a Church requires of its members.
  4. A customary action, habit, or behavior; a manner or routine.
    It is the usual practice of employees there to wear neckties only when meeting with customers.
    It is good practice to check each door and window before leaving.

Usage notes

British and Australian English distinguish between practice (a noun) and practise (a verb), analogously with advice/advise. In American English, practice is commonly used for both forms. Canadian English works with both systems.


repetition of an activity to improve skill
an ongoing pursuit of a craft or profession
an observance of religious duties
customary action, habit, or behavior


  1. transitive US To repeat (an activity) as a way of improving one's skill in that activity.
    You should practice playing piano every day.
  2. intransitive US To repeat an activity in this way.
    If you want to speak French well, you need to practice.
  3. transitive US To perform or observe in a habitual fashion.
    They gather to practice religion every Saturday.
  4. transitive US To pursue (a career, especially law, fine art or medicine).
    She practiced law for forty years before retiring.
  5. To conspire.
  6. alternative spelling of practise

Usage notes

Derived terms


(US) To repeat an activity as a way of improving one's skill
  • Finnish: harjoitella
  • German: üben
  • Greek: Sport: προπονούμαι (proponoúmai); Music:μελετáω (meletáo)
  • Portuguese: praticar
To perform or execute a craft or skill
  • Dutch: beoefen
  • Finnish: harjoittaa
  • German: ausüben, praktizieren
  • Greek: ασκώ το επάγγελμα (askó to epángelma)
  • Portuguese: praticar

Extensive Definition

Practice or Practise may refer to:

See also

practice in German: Praxis
practice in Russian: Практика
practice in Simple English: Practice
practice in Slovak: Prax

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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ritual observance, rituality, road test, road-test, routine, rule, run, run a sample, run over, run through, running, rusty, sacrament, sacramental, sagacity, sample, satisfaction, say over, say over again, scheme, seasoning, second nature, see to, send to school, serve, service, setting-up exercises, shake down, shakedown, shakedown cruise, sloyd, social convention, social science, solemnity, sophistication, specialization, specialize in, specialty, standard behavior, standard usage, standing custom, steer, steering, stereotype, stereotyped behavior, stretch, study, studying, style, subject, substantiate, subtraction, sum up, summarize, swing, swot, swotting, system, tackle, tactics, take care of, take in hand, take on, take to, take up, taste, tautologize, technic, technique, tempering, test, test flight, test run, the drill, the how, the way of, time-honored practice, tone, trade, tradition, train, training, transformation, trial run, trick, try, try it on, try out, tryout, unaccustomed, undertake, upbringing, usage, use, usefulness, utility, utilize, validate, verify, vet, vocation, vocational education, vocational training, wade through, wage, walk, walk of life, warm-up, way, way of life, ways, what is done, wide reading, wield, wise, wont, wonting, work, work at, working, workings, workout, worldly wisdom, yoga
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