verb (used with or without object), prac·tised, prac·tis·ing. British.

Nearby words

  1. practice what you preach,
  2. practice-teach,
  3. practiced,
  4. practicing,
  5. practicum,
  6. practised,
  7. practitioner,
  8. prad,
  9. prader-willi syndrome,
  10. pradesh

Related formsmis·prac·tise, noun, verb, mis·prac·tised, mis·prac·tis·ing.pre·prac·tise, verb, pre·prac·tised, pre·prac·tis·ing.




habitual or customary performance; operation: office practice.
habit; custom: It is not the practice here for men to wear long hair.
repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency: Practice makes perfect.
condition arrived at by experience or exercise: She refused to play the piano, because she was out of practice.
the action or process of performing or doing something: to put a scheme into practice; the shameful practices of a blackmailer.
the exercise or pursuit of a profession or occupation, especially law or medicine: She plans to set up practice in her hometown.
the business of a professional person: The doctor wanted his daughter to take over his practice when he retired.
Law. the established method of conducting legal proceedings.
Archaic. plotting; intrigue; trickery.
Usually practices. Archaic. intrigues; plots.

verb (used with object), prac·ticed, prac·tic·ing.

to perform or do habitually or usually: to practice a strict regimen.
to follow or observe habitually or customarily: to practice one's religion.
to exercise or pursue as a profession, art, or occupation: to practice law.
to perform or do repeatedly in order to acquire skill or proficiency: to practice the violin.
to train or drill (a person, animal, etc.) in something in order to give proficiency.

verb (used without object), prac·ticed, prac·tic·ing.

to do something habitually or as a practice.
to pursue a profession, especially law or medicine.
to exercise oneself by repeated performance in order to acquire skill: to practice at shooting.
Archaic. to plot or conspire.
Also British, prac·tise (for defs 11–19).

Origin of practice

1375–1425; (v.) late Middle English practisen, practizen (< Middle French pra(c)tiser) < Medieval Latin prāctizāre, alteration of prācticāre, derivative of prāctica practical work < Greek prāktikḗ noun use of feminine of prāktikós practic; see -ize; (noun) late Middle English, derivative of the v.

Related forms

Synonym study

2. See custom. 3. See exercise. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for practise

British Dictionary definitions for practise


US practice


to do or cause to do repeatedly in order to gain skill
(tr) to do (something) habitually or frequentlythey practise ritual murder
to observe or pursue (something, such as a religion)to practise Christianity
to work at (a profession, job, etc)he practises medicine
(foll by on or upon) to take advantage of (someone, someone's credulity, etc)

Word Origin for practise

C15: see practice



a usual or customary action or proceedingit was his practice to rise at six; he made a practice of stealing stamps
repetition or exercise of an activity in order to achieve mastery and fluency
the condition of having mastery of a skill or activity through repetition (esp in the phrases in practice, out of practice)
the exercise of a professionhe set up practice as a lawyer
the act of doing somethinghe put his plans into practice
the established method of conducting proceedings in a court of law


the US spelling of practise

Word Origin for practice

C16: from Medieval Latin practicāre to practise, from Greek praktikē practical science, practical work, from prattein to do, act

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 practise
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for practise




To engage in the profession of medicine or one of the allied health professions.


The exercise of the profession of medicine.
The business of a practicing physician or group of physicians, including facilities and customary patients.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with practise


In addition to the idioms beginning with practice

  • practice makes perfect
  • practice what you preach

also see:

  • in practice
  • make a practice of
  • out of practice
  • put into practice
  • sharp practice
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.