practice prac‧tice [ˈprækts] noun
1. [uncountable] the work done by a particular profession, especially lawyers or doctors who are working for themselves rather than a public organization:

• Mr. Barr returned to private law practice in the mid-1990s.

• She was formerly a staff attorney for a charity and is now in practice in Washington.

• He left to go into private practice.

2. [countable] the business or place of work of a doctor, lawyer etc, or a group of doctors, lawyers etc:

• the problems of small accountancy practices

• They were partners in a general medical practice in central London.

ˌgeneral ˈpractice [countable] LAW
a firm of lawyers who do many different types of legal work
3. [countable, uncountable] the way people do a particular job, activity etc, especially one which is done often:

• Japanese management practices

• It was normal practice for hotels to require confirmation in writing.

general practice of

• What will happen if the big banks continue their practice of closing smaller branches?

ˌcustom and ˈpractice [uncountable]
HUMAN RESOURCES the way that something has always been done in the past, which can be used in discussions between workers and managers, even if it is not written down in any formal or legal document:

• According to custom and practice my job description formed part of my contract.

ˌsharp ˈpractice [uncountable]
behaviour that is dishonest but not illegal:

• Some of the rival bus companies have been accused of sharp practice.

4. good/​best practice a good example of how something should be done:

• The Code reflects what the City considers to be best practice in the conduct of takeovers.

* * *

practice UK US /ˈpræktɪs/ noun
[U] action as opposed to thoughts, ideas, or plans: in practice »

We'll need a year at least to see whether this new approach will work in practice.

put sth into practice »

We are beginning to put the new processes and systems into practice.

[U] LAW the work done by people such as lawyers, doctors, etc. which involves long periods of training and high levels of skill: »

He trained in private practice in Glasgow.

go into/set up in practice »

After graduation, he pursued a doctorate in pharmacology instead of going into practice.

[C] LAW the business or place of work of people such as lawyers, doctors, etc.: run/start a practice »

He runs a legal practice that rivals some of the biggest commercial law firms in the country.


a dental/legal/medical practice


a group/private practice


join/leave a practice

[C or U] the way of doing things in a particular business, industry, etc.: common/standard/usual practice »

It is common practice in the building industry to cost all items gross.

bad/best/good practice »

The insurance firm has issued a warning report to its members, highlighting breaches of best practice.

practice of doing sth »

The company was fined over its continued practice of employing illegal immigrants.

adopt/follow/introduce a practice »

More and more companies worldwide have begun to adopt the practice of preparing sustainability reports.

accounting/business/management practices »

Shares in the company fell after it revealed that regulators were reviewing its accounting practices.


employment/labour/working practices

See also CODE OF PRACTICE(Cf. ↑code of practice), CUSTOM(Cf. ↑custom) noun, FIRE PRACTICE(Cf. ↑fire practice), GENERAL PRACTICE(Cf. ↑general practice), RESTRICTIVE PRACTICE(Cf. ↑restrictive practice), SHARP PRACTICE(Cf. ↑sharp practice)
practice UK US /ˈpræktɪs/ verb [I or T] US
PRACTISE(Cf. ↑practise)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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