View synonyms for use


[ verb yooz yoost; noun yoos ]

verb (used with object)

, used, us·ing.
  1. to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of:

    to use a knife.

  2. to avail oneself of; apply to one's own purposes:

    to use the facilities.

  3. to expend or consume in use:

    We have used the money provided.

    Synonyms: waste, exhaust

  4. to treat or behave toward:

    He did not use his employees with much consideration.

  5. to take unfair advantage of; exploit:

    to use people to gain one's own ends.

  6. to drink, smoke, or ingest habitually:

    to use drugs.

  7. to habituate or accustom.

    Synonyms: inure, familiarize

  8. Archaic. to practice habitually or customarily; make a practice of.

verb (used without object)

, used, us·ing.
  1. to be accustomed or customarily found (used with an infinitive expressed or understood, and, except in archaic use, now only in the past):

    He used to go every day.

  2. Archaic. to resort, stay, or dwell customarily.


  1. the act of employing, using, or putting into service:

    the use of tools.

  2. the state of being employed or used.

    Synonyms: utilization, exercise, application, employment

  3. an instance or way of employing or using something:

    proper use of the tool; the painter's use of color.

    Synonyms: handling

  4. a way of being employed or used; a purpose for which something is used:

    He was of temporary use. The instrument has different uses.

  5. the power, right, or privilege of employing or using something:

    to lose the use of the right eye; to be denied the use of a library card.

  6. service or advantage in or for being employed or used; utility or usefulness:

    of no practical use.

  7. help; profit; resulting good:

    What's the use of pursuing the matter?

  8. occasion or need, as for something to be employed or used:

    Would you have any use for another calendar?

  9. continued, habitual, or customary employment or practice; custom:

    to follow the prevailing use of such occasions.

  10. Law.
    1. the enjoyment of property, as by the employment, occupation, or exercise of it.
    2. the benefit or profit of lands and tenements in the possession of another who simply holds them for the beneficiary.
    3. the equitable ownership of land to which the legal title is in another's name.
  11. Liturgy. the distinctive form of ritual or of any liturgical observance used in a particular church, diocese, community, etc.
  12. usual or customary experience.

verb phrase

    1. to consume entirely.
    2. to exhaust of vigor or usefulness; finish:

      By the end of the war he felt used up and sick of life.



  1. to put into service or action; employ for a given purpose

    to use a spoon to stir with

  2. to make a practice or habit of employing; exercise

    he uses his brain

  3. to behave towards

    to use a friend well

  4. to behave towards in a particular way for one's own ends

    he uses people

  5. to consume, expend, or exhaust

    the engine uses very little oil

  6. to partake of (alcoholic drink, drugs, etc) or smoke (tobacco, marijuana, etc)


  1. the act of using or the state of being used

    the carpet wore out through constant use

  2. the ability, right, or permission to use
  3. the occasion to use; need

    I have no use for this paper

  4. an instance or manner of using
  5. usefulness; advantage

    it is of no use to complain

  6. custom; practice; habit

    long use has inured him to it

  7. the purpose for which something is used; end
  8. Christianity a distinctive form of liturgical or ritual observance, esp one that is traditional in a Church or group of Churches
  9. the enjoyment of property, land, etc, by occupation or by deriving revenue or other benefit from it
  10. law the beneficial enjoyment of property the legal title to which is held by another person as trustee
  11. law an archaic word for trust
  12. philosophy logic linguistics the occurrence of an expression in such a context that it performs its own linguistic function rather than being itself referred to. In " Fido " refers to Fido, the name Fido is 'used' only on the second occurrence, first being mentioned Compare mention See also material mode
  13. have no use for
    1. to have no need of
    2. to have a contemptuous dislike for
  14. make use of
    1. to employ; use
    2. to exploit (a person)

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Confusables Note

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Other Words From

  • multi·use adjective
  • non·use noun
  • non·using adjective
  • re·use verb reused reusing noun
  • under·use verb (used with object) underused underusing noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of use1

First recorded in 1175–1225; (verb) Middle English usen, from Old French user, from Latin ūsus, past participle of ūtī “to use”; (noun) Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ūsus “act of using a thing, application, employment,” equivalent to ūt-, stem of ūtī “to use” + -tus suffix of verbal action, with tt becoming s

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Word History and Origins

Origin of use1

C13: from Old French user to use, from Latin ūsus having used, from ūtī to use

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. have no use for,
    1. to have no occasion or need for:

      She appears to have no use for the city.

    2. to refuse to tolerate; discount:

      He had no use for his brother.

    3. to have a distaste for; dislike:

      He has no use for dictators.

  2. make use of, to use for one's own purposes; employ:

    Charitable organizations will make use of your old furniture and clothing.

  3. of no use, of no advantage or help: Also no use.

    It's of no use to look for that missing earring. It's no use asking her to go.

  4. put to use, to apply; employ to advantage:

    What a shame that no one has put that old deserted mansion to use!

More idioms and phrases containing use

  • have no use for
  • make use of
  • no use
  • put to good use
  • used

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Example Sentences

As Ensminger puts it, one of Hallmark’s best attributes is its range, and the company has put that versatility to good use in the face of an overwhelming crisis.

From Vox

In Virginia, Hanley said a new law banning cellphone use while driving should increase highway safety.

The platforms, which are outdoors, have undergone decades of use and weather-related deterioration.

So far, the EEOC hasn’t even issued clear guidelines concerning hiring algorithms that are already in use.

The first was the use of financial incentives — although they were so tiny, less than a dollar, that you have to wonder how powerful they’d be.

There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.

In Israel, however, a new law took effect January 1st that banned the use of underweight models.

The use of slurs from both characters makes it clear just how “new” the idea of an openly gay son is even in this time.

In the meantime, Epstein has tried to use his charitable projects to float him back to the top.

And in order for them to realize their vision, they are willing to use any means.

If you use it wisely, it may be Ulysses' hauberk; if you reject it, the shirt of Nessus were a cooler winding-sheet!

The sailors sometimes use it to fry their meat, for want of butter, and find it agreeable enough.

Not much use as the high crests hid the intervening hinterland from view, even from the crow's nests.

For this use of the voice in the special service of will-power, or propelling force, it is necessary first to test its freedom.

Their method of curing the leaves was to air-dry them and then packing them until wanted for use.


Related Words

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When To Use

What is another way to say use?

To use something is to employ it for some purpose or to put it into service. How is use different from utilize? Find out on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




USDAWuse-by date