Definition for PRAC'TICE

PRAC'TICE, n. [Sp. practica; It. pratica; Fr. pratique; Gr. πρακτικη, from the root of πρασσω, πραττεω, to act, to do, to make. The root of this verb is πραγ or πρακ, as appears by the derivatives πραγμα, πρακτικη, and from the same root, in other languages, are formed G. brauchen, to use, brauch, use, practice; D. gebruiken, to use, employ, enjoy; bruiker, a tenant, one that occupies a farm; Sax. brucan, to use, to enjoy, to eat, whence Eng. to brook, and broker; Dan. bruger, to use or employ; brug, use, practice; Sw. bruka; L. fruor, for frugor or frucor, whence fructus, contracted into fruit; It. freacair, use, practice, frcquency, L. frequens. The W. praith, practice, preithiaw, to practice, may be the same word, with the loss of the palatal letter c or g.]

  1. Frequent or customary actions; a succession of acts of a similar kind or in a like employment; as, the practice of rising early or of dining late; the practice of reading a portion of Scripture morning and evening; the practice of making regular entries of accounts; the practice of virtue or vice. Habit is the effect of practice.
  2. Use; customary use. Obsolete words may be revived when they are more sounding or significant than those in practice. Dryden.
  3. Dexterity acquired by use. [Unusual.] – Shak.
  4. Actual performance; distinguished from theory. There are two functions of the soul, contemplation and practice, according to the general division of objects, some of which only entertain our speculations, others employ our actions. – South.
  5. Application of remedies; medical treatment of diseases. Two physicians may differ widely in their practice.
  6. Exercise of any profession; as the practice of law or of medicine; the practice of arms.
  7. Frequent use; exercise for instruction or discipline. The troops are daily called out for practice.
  8. Skillful or artful management; dexterity in contrivance or the use of means; art; stratagem; artifice; usually in a bad sense. He sought to have that by practice which he could not by prayer. – Sidney. [This use of the word is genuine; Sp. practico, skillful, It. pratico; like expert, from L. experior. It is not a mistake as Johnson supposes. See the verb.]
  9. A rule in arithmetic, by which the operations of the general rules are abridged in use.

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