Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of practice
Meaning of practice by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    See practise .


    practice ( plural: practices )

    1. Repetition of an activity to improve skill .
      He will need lots of practice with those lines before he performs them .
    2. ( uncountable ) The ongoing pursuit of a craft or profession, particularly in medicine or the fine arts .
    3. ( countable ) A place where a professional service is provided, such as a general practice .
      She ran a thriving medical practice .
    4. The observance of religious duties which a church requires of its members .
    5. 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 .
    6. Actual operation or experiment, in contrast to theory .
      That may work in practice, but will it work in theory?
    7. ( law ) synonym for "practice of law" or the methods and procedures appurtenant thereto, particularly with regard to special actions such as "motion practice", "trail practice", etc. Also with regard to specialties, eg., "family law practice", "media law practice"

    Usage notes

    British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand English distinguish between practice ( a noun ) and practise ( a verb ), analogously with advice/advise. In American English, practice is commonly used for both forms, and this is also common in Canada .


    The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions ( senses ) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the template {{sense|"gloss"}}, substituting a short version of the definition for "gloss" .
    • fashion, pattern, trick, way, dry run, trial


    practice ( third-person singular simple present practices present participle practicing, simple past and past participle practiced )

    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. ( intransitive, archaic, US ) To conspire .
    6. Alternative spelling of practise .

    Usage notes

    Derived terms

Explanation of practice by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. learn by repetition

    2. Pianists practice scales
    3. engage in a rehearsal ( of )

    4. engage in or perform

    5. practice safe sex
    6. avail oneself to

    7. practice a religion
      practice non-violent resistance
    8. carry out or practice

    9. practice law
    1. a customary way of operation or behavior

    2. it is their practice to give annual raises
    3. translating an idea into action

    4. a hard theory to put into practice
    5. the exercise of a profession

    6. the practice of the law
      I took over his practice when he retired
    7. systematic training by multiple repetitions

    8. practice makes perfect
    9. knowledge of how something is usually done

    10. it is not the local practice to wear shorts to dinner

    Definition of practice by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Practice n. [OE. praktike, practique, F. pratique, formerly also, practique, LL. practica, fr. Gr. , fr. practical. See Practical, and cf. Pratique, Pretty.]
      1. Frequently repeated or customary action; habitual performance; a succession of acts of a similar kind; usage; habit; custom; as, “the practice of rising early; the practice of making regular entries of accounts; the practice of daily exercise.”

      A heart . . . exercised with covetous practices. 2 Pet. ii. 14.

      2. Customary or constant use; state of being used.

      Obsolete words may be revived when they are more sounding or more significant than those in practice. Dryden.

      3. Skill or dexterity acquired by use; expertness. [R.] “His nice fence and his active practice.” Shak.

      4. Actual performance; application of knowledge; -- opposed to theory.

      There are two functions of the soul, -- contemplation and practice. South.

      There is a distinction, but no opposition, between theory and practice; each, to a certain extent, supposes the other; theory is dependent on practice; practice must have preceded theory. Sir W. Hamilton.

      5. Systematic exercise for instruction or discipline; as, “the troops are called out for practice; she neglected practice in music.”

      6. Application of science to the wants of men; the exercise of any profession; professional business; as, “the practice of medicine or law; a large or lucrative practice.”

      Practice is exercise of an art, or the application of a science in life, which application is itself an art. Sir W. Hamilton.

      7. Skillful or artful management; dexterity in contrivance or the use of means; art; stratagem; artifice; plot; -- usually in a bad sense. [Obs.] Bacon.

      He sought to have that by practice which he could not by prayer. Sir P. Sidney.

      8. ( Math. ) A easy and concise method of applying the rules of arithmetic to questions which occur in trade and business.

      9. ( Law ) The form, manner, and order of conducting and carrying on suits and prosecutions through their various stages, according to the principles of law and the rules laid down by the courts. Bouvier.

      Syn. -- Custom; usage; habit; manner.

    2. Practice v. t. [imp. & p. p. Practiced ; p. pr. & vb. n. Practicing] [Often written practise, practised, practising.]
      1. To do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to make a practice of; as, “to practice gaming”. “Incline not my heart . . . practice wicked works.”
      Ps. cxli. 4.

      2. To exercise, or follow, as a profession, trade, art, etc., as, “to practice law or medicine”.

      2. To exercise one's self in, for instruction or improvement, or to acquire discipline or dexterity; as, “to practice gunnery; to practice music.”

      4. To put into practice; to carry out; to act upon; to commit; to execute; to do. “Aught but Talbot's shadow whereon to practice your severity.” Shak.

      As this advice ye practice or neglect. Pope.

      5. To make use of; to employ. [Obs.]

      In malice to this good knight's wife, I practiced Ubaldo and Ricardo to corrupt her. Massinger.

      6. To teach or accustom by practice; to train.

      In church they are taught to love God; after church they are practiced to love their neighbor. Landor.

    3. Practice, v. i. [Often written practise.]
      1. To perform certain acts frequently or customarily, either for instruction, profit, or amusement; as, “to practice with the broadsword or with the rifle; to practice on the piano.”

      2. To learn by practice; to form a habit.

      They shall practice how to live secure. Milton.

      Practice first over yourself to reign. Waller.

      3. To try artifices or stratagems.

      He will practice against thee by poison. Shak.

      4. To apply theoretical science or knowledge, esp. by way of experiment; to exercise or pursue an employment or profession, esp. that of medicine or of law.

      [I am] little inclined to practice on others, and as little that others should practice on me. Sir W. Temple.