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

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 formsprac·tic·er, nounmis·prac·tice, noun, verb, mis·prac·ticed, mis·prac·tic·ing.non·prac·tice, nounout·prac·tice, verb (used with object), out·prac·ticed, out·prac·tic·ing.o·ver·prac·tice, verb (used with object), o·ver·prac·ticed, o·ver·prac·tic·ing.pre·prac·tice, verb, pre·prac·ticed, pre·prac·tic··prac·tice, verb (used with object), re·prac·ticed, re·prac·tic·ing.

Synonyms for practice

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 practises

Historical Examples of practises

  • Mr. Wing is an American-born Chinese and practises the profession of a valet.

  • If she works, or practises one of the arts, she does this only until marriage.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Every art unfolds its secrets and its beauty only to the man who practises it.

  • And he looks into the sand-grave near him, where little Najib practises how to die.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • But the other doctor, who practises on freemen, proceeds in quite a different way.



British Dictionary definitions for practises



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


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
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 practises



c.1400, "to do, act;" early 15c., "to follow or employ; to carry on a profession," especially medicine, from Old French pratiser, practiser "to practice," alteration of practiquer, from Medieval Latin practicare "to do, perform, practice," from Late Latin practicus "practical," from Greek praktikos "practical" (see practical).

From early 15c. as "to perform repeatedly to acquire skill, to learn by repeated performance;" mid-15c. as "to perform, to work at, exercise." Related: Practiced; practicing.


chiefly British English spelling of practice.



early 15c., practise, "practical application," originally especially of medicine but also alchemy, education, etc.; from Old French pratiser, from Medieval Latin practicare (see practice (v.)). From early 15c. often assimilated in spelling to nouns in -ice. Also as practic, which survived in parallel into 19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

practises in Medicine




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 practises


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.