Habituation is what happens when an organism gets used to a certain environment or stimulus. Through habituation, the squirrels in a city park often become so used to humans that they don't run away from them — and even beg them for food.

If you live near an airport and hear planes taking off and landing every day, habituation occurs — eventually you get so used to the noise that you don't even notice it. The same thing happens to non-human organisms. Thanks to habituation, your pet turtle doesn't hide in his shell every time you touch him anymore. He is used to you petting him. When the world presents a new stimulus, habituation can help an animal adapt to it. Habituation comes from the Late Latin habituat, "accustomed."

Definitions of habituation
  1. noun
    a general accommodation to unchanging environmental conditions
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    type of:
    accommodation, adjustment, fitting
    making or becoming suitable; adjusting to circumstances
  2. noun
    being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs)
    synonyms: addiction, dependance, dependence, dependency
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    drug addiction, white plague
    an addiction to a drug (especially a narcotic drug)
    alcohol addiction, alcoholism, drunkenness, inebriation
    habitual intoxication; prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol such that abrupt deprivation leads to severe withdrawal symptoms
    cocaine addiction
    an addiction to cocaine
    heroin addiction
    an addiction to heroin
    caffein addiction
    an addiction to caffein
    nicotine addiction
    an addiction to nicotine
    type of:
    physical condition, physiological condition, physiological state
    the condition or state of the body or bodily functions
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