[ yoo-sij, -zij ]
See synonyms for usage on
  1. a customary way of doing something; a custom or practice: the usages of the last 50 years.

  2. 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.

  1. a particular instance of this: a usage borrowed from French.

  2. any manner of doing or handling something; treatment: rough usage.

  3. habitual or customary use; long-continued practice: immemorial usage.

  4. an act of using or employing; use.

Origin of usage

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French, from Medieval Latin ūsāticum, equivalent to Latin ūs(us) (see use) + -āticum -age

confusables note For usage

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?

Other words for usage

Other words from usage

  • non·us·age, noun

Words that may be confused with usage

  • use, usage (see usage note at the current entry)

Words Nearby usage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use usage in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for usage


/ (ˈjuːsɪdʒ, -zɪdʒ) /

  1. the act or a manner of using; use; employment

  2. constant use, custom, or habit

  1. something permitted or established by custom or practice

  2. what is actually said in a language, esp as contrasted with what is prescribed

Origin of usage

C14: via Old French, from Latin ūsus use (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