I couldn't find it in multiple dictionaries, but have seen it used by several people. However, I do not know if this is just due to the word "sounding right", or from the word actually existing. Does anyone know if this a real word, and how one would go about finding out if it would be a real word?
Certain habitate has been used by others before you. When they used it, it usually means to dwell, and so is intransitive.
It also has a rare and, in my opinion and that of the OED, a now-obsolete transitive sense, where it is equivalent to habituate.
Per that Dictionary:
habitate /ˈhæbɪteɪt/, v. rare.
Etymology: f. L. habitāt-, ppl. stem of habitāre to dwell; but by Burton used as a derivative of habit sb.
a. intr. To dwell.
† b. trans. To habituate; = habit v.4. Obs.
- 1621 Burton Anat. Mel. ɪ. ii. ɪɪ. vi, ― They being now habitated to such meditations and solitary places, can indure no company.
- 1866 J. B. Rose tr. Ovid’s Fasti ᴠ. 626 ― Mars habitates in the city of his son.
- 1866 J. B. Rose tr. Ovid’s Fasti ᴠɪ. 936 ― She doth habitate On Tiber’s banks.
I should definitely avoid the second sense, which would be taken as a typo for habituate. The first sense sounds a mite pretentious for dwell, or even the fancier inhabit, but you might put it into the mouth of some speaker who never uses a single word when he can sneak in a paragraph, or a one-syllable word when there is a polysyllabic monstrosity he can use to scare away the easily intimidated.
Of course habitated is a word... although my browser's built-in spell-checker disagrees. Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. If you want it to be a word, then use it. I, for one, being a non-native English speaker have a clear meaning of what it is trying to convey. It won't survive a good Strunk & White'ing though.
Yes, I do know so! Because I use it all the time like in this sentence: "I habitated the house".
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Mar 25 '13 at 2:16
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