When you habituate something, you're helping it to get accustomed to a new home. Workers in zoos spend a lot of time habituating animals.

The word "habit" in habituate is a clue to its meaning — by habituating, you're helping a creature or person get used to new surroundings and establish new habits, especially in a new habitat (home). If your dog spends the night with a friend, you might bring some of his toys to habituate him and make him feel comfortable. It takes a lot of time for a new cat to be habituated to a home. When you habituate something, you're helping it feel comfortable and accustomed to a new place.

Definitions of habituate

v make psychologically or physically used (to something)

“She became habituated to the background music”
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
harden, indurate, inure
cause to accept or become hardened to; habituate
accustom gradually to some action or attitude
addict, hook
to cause (someone or oneself) to become dependent (on something, especially a narcotic drug)
callous, cauterise, cauterize
make insensitive or callous; deaden feelings or morals
brace oneself for, prepare for, steel oneself against, steel onself for
prepare mentally or emotionally for something unpleasant
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v take or consume (regularly or habitually)

drink, tope
drink excessive amounts of alcohol; be an alcoholic
lodge and take meals (at)
Type of:
consume, have, ingest, take, take in
serve oneself to, or consume regularly

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.