[noun dis-yoos; verb dis-yooz]
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verb (used with object), dis·used, dis·us·ing.
  1. to cease to use.

Origin of disuse

1375–1425; late Middle English. See dis-1, use
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disuse

Contemporary Examples of disuse

Historical Examples of disuse

  • The use of the pronoun, the disuse of the grammar pulled him up short.

  • Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Since the disuse of print, opticians have mostly gone to the poor-house.

    With The Eyes Shut

    Edward Bellamy

  • As a result, we have no organs of hearing, for they have been atrophied from ages of disuse.

    Giants on the Earth

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • In many cases habit or use and disuse have probably come into play.

British Dictionary definitions for disuse


  1. the condition of being unused; neglect (often in the phrases in or into disuse)
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

Word Origin and History for disuse

c.1400, see dis- + use (n.).


c.1400, "misuse, pervert;" mid-15c., "become unaccustomed," from or on analogy of Old French desuser, from des- "not" (see dis-) + user "use" (see use (v.)). Related: Disused.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper