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[yoo-sij, -zij] /ˈyu sɪdʒ, -zɪdʒ/
a customary way of doing something; a custom or practice:
the usages of the last 50 years.
the customary manner in which a language or a form of a language is spoken or written:
English usage; a grammar based on usage rather than on arbitrary notions of correctness.
a particular instance of this:
a usage borrowed from French.
any manner of doing or handling something; treatment:
rough usage.
habitual or customary use; long-continued practice:
immemorial usage.
an act of using or employing; use.
Origin of usage
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Medieval Latin ūsāticum, equivalent to Latin ūs(us) (see use) + -āticum -age
Related forms
nonusage, noun
Can be confused
use, usage, utilize (see usage note at the current entry; see synonym study at use)
1. tradition, habit, convention.
Usage note
The nouns usage and use are related in origin and meaning and to some extent overlap in their use. Usage usually refers to habitual or customary practices or procedures: Some usages of the Anglican Church are similar to those of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also commonly used in reference to language practices: English usage is divided in the pronunciation of aunt. Use refers to the act of using or employing (something): She put her extra money to good use. Perhaps in the belief that it is the more impressive term, usage is sometimes used where use would be more natural: Has your usage of a personal computer made the work any easier? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for usages
Historical Examples
  • Betty's ignorance of the usages of good society stood her friend.

  • He had been taken prisoner when engaged in some exploit which was contrary to the usages of war.


    James Anthony Froude
  • Arab religion was based on the ideas and usages which have been described in chap.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies
  • The former was derived from, and regulated by, the laws and usages of nations.

  • Living so long in the East, he has unlearned the laws, the manners, and the usages of his country.

    The Nabob Alphonse Daudet
  • “Blaspheme not against the usages of our city,” said Pietro Cennini, much offended.

    Romola George Eliot
  • Some usages contain only a slight element of right and ought.


    William Graham Sumner
  • Only experience produces judgments of the expediency of some usages.


    William Graham Sumner
  • It is our custom to think out the consistency of all our doctrines and usages.


    William Graham Sumner
  • Now their customes and usages in both these was in this manner.

British Dictionary definitions for usages


/ˈjuːsɪdʒ; -zɪdʒ/
the act or a manner of using; use; employment
constant use, custom, or habit
something permitted or established by custom or practice
what is actually said in a language, esp as contrasted with what is prescribed
Word Origin
C14: via Old French, from Latin ūsususe (n)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for usages



c.1300, "established practice, custom," from Anglo-French and Old French usage "custom, habit, experience," from us, from Latin usus "use, custom" (see use (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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