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Alternative forms[edit]

  • practice (standard for noun but incorrect for verb outside US; almost universal for both in American English)


From Middle English practizen, a variant of practisen, from Middle French pratiser, practiser, from Medieval Latin practizo, from Late Latin practico (to do, perform, execute, propose, practise, exercise, be conversant with, contrive, conspire, etc.), from prāctica (practical affairs", "business), from Ancient Greek πρακτική (praktikḗ), from πρακτικός (praktikós, practical), from πράσσειν (prássein, to do)



practise (third-person singular simple present practises, present participle practising, simple past and past participle practised)

  1. (transitive, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To repeat as a way of improving one's skill in that activity.
    You should practise playing piano every day.
  2. (intransitive, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To repeat an activity in this way.
    If you want to speak French well, you need to practise.
  3. (transitive, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To perform or observe in a habitual fashion.
    They gather to practise religion every Saturday.
  4. (transitive, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To pursue (a career, especially law, fine art or medicine).
    She practised law for forty years before retiring.
  5. (intransitive, obsolete, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland) To conspire.
  6. To put into practice; to carry out; to act upon; to commit; to execute; to do.
    • Shakespeare
      Aught but Talbot's shadow whereon to practise your severity.
    • Alexander Pope
      As this advice ye practise or neglect.
  7. To make use of; to employ.
    • Massinger
      In malice to this good knight's wife, I practised Ubaldo and Ricardo to corrupt her.
  8. To teach or accustom by practice; to train.
    • Landor
      In church they are taught to love God; after church they are practised to love their neighbour.

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