English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What word describes an abstract process that is encountered frequently? For example, every time I get into a car, I start it by turning the key. The car and the key might be different in every single scenario, but the process is still 'get into car, turn key'. I was thinking idiom, but that doesn't really seem to fit.

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by Jasper Loy, Bravo, kiamlaluno, TimLymington, Mahnax Aug 26 '12 at 4:15

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The word routine comes to mind.

share|improve this answer

It looks like you are looking for the word procedure.

share|improve this answer

How about behavior? I can't find a good reference to the definition of the word that describes what you're asking about, but I believe it's used this way all the time.

share|improve this answer

A habit is defined as "a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition."

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.