Definition of practice in English:


See synonyms for practice

Translate practice into Spanish


  • 1The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.

    ‘the principles and practice of teaching’
    • ‘he put his self-defense training into practice by helping police arrest the armed robber’
    application, exercise, use, operation, implementation, execution, enactment, action, doing
    use, make use of, put to use, utilize, apply, employ, exercise, put into effect, put into operation, draw on, bring into play
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    1. 1.1The carrying out or exercise of a profession, especially that of a doctor or lawyer.
      • ‘he abandoned medical practice for the Church’
      profession, career, business, work, pursuit, occupation, following
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    2. 1.2The business or premises of a doctor or lawyer.
      • ‘Dr. Weiss has a practice in Essex’
      business, firm, office
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  • 2The customary, habitual, or expected procedure or way of doing of something.

    ‘current nursing practice’
    • ‘modern child-rearing practices’
    custom, procedure, policy, convention, tradition, fashion, habit, wont, method, system, routine, institution, way, rule
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    1. 2.1An established method of legal procedure.
  • 3Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

    • ‘it must have taken a lot of practice to become so fluent’
    training, rehearsal, repetition, preparation, exercise, drill, study
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    1. 3.1A period of time spent practicing an activity or skill.
      • ‘daily choir practices’



/ˈpraktəs/ /ˈpræktəs/

transitive verb

(British practise)
[with object]
  • 1Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency.

    ‘I need to practice my French’
    • ‘they were practicing for the Olympics’
  • 2Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

    • ‘we still practice some of these rituals today’
    1. 2.1Actively pursue or be engaged in (a particular profession or occupation)
      ‘he began to practice law’
      • ‘he practiced as an attorney’
    2. 2.2Observe the teaching and rules of (a particular religion)
      • ‘they are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution’
    3. 2.3 archaic no object Scheme or plot for an evil purpose.
      • ‘what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive’



/ˈpraktəs/ /ˈpræktəs/


Care should be taken with the use of the words practice and practise as there are differences in British and US usage. Practice is the correct spelling for the noun in both British and US English and it is also the spelling of the verb in US English. However, in British English the verb should be spelled practise


    in practice
    • 1In reality (used to refer to what actually happens as opposed to what is meant or believed to happen)

      • ‘in theory this method is ideal—in practice it is unrealistic’
    • 2Currently proficient in a particular activity or skill as a result of repeated exercise or performance of it.

    out of practice
    • Not currently proficient in a particular activity or skill due to not having exercised or performed it for some time.

      • ‘he was out of practice at interrogation’
    practice makes perfect
    • Used to convey that regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it, especially when encouraging someone to persist in it.

    practice what one preaches
    • Do what one advises others to do.


Late Middle English the verb from Old French practiser or medieval Latin practizare, alteration of practicare ‘perform, carry out’, from practica ‘practice’, from Greek praktikē, feminine (used as a noun) of praktikos (see practical); the noun from the verb in the earlier spelling practise, on the pattern of pairs such as advise, advice.