[huh-bich-oo-ey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for habituation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of habituating.
  2. the condition of being habituated.
  3. physiological tolerance to or psychological dependence on a drug, short of addiction.
  4. reduction of psychological or behavioral response occurring when a specific stimulus occurs repeatedly.

Origin of habituation

1400–50; late Middle English. See habituate, -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for habituation


  1. the act or process of habituating
  2. psychol the temporary waning of an innate response that occurs when it is elicited many times in successionCompare extinction (def. 6)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for habituation

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin habituationem, noun of action from habituare (see habituate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

habituation in Medicine


  1. The process of habituating or the state of being habituated.
  2. Physiological tolerance to a drug resulting from repeated use.
  3. Psychological dependence on a drug.
  4. The decline of a conditioned response following repeated exposure to the conditioned stimulus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

habituation in Science


  1. The gradual decline of a response to a stimulus resulting from repeated exposure to the stimulus.
  2. Physiological tolerance for a drug resulting from repeated use.
  3. Psychological dependence on a drug resulting from repeated use.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.