or U.S.E.S.


[verb yooz or for pt for mof 9, yoost; noun yoos]

verb (used with object), used, us·ing.

to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of: to use a knife.
to avail oneself of; apply to one's own purposes: to use the facilities.
to expend or consume in use: We have used the money provided.
to treat or behave toward: He did not use his employees with much consideration.
to take unfair advantage of; exploit: to use people to gain one's own ends.
to drink, smoke, or ingest habitually: to use drugs.
to habituate or accustom.
Archaic. to practice habitually or customarily; make a practice of.

verb (used without object), used, us·ing.

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


the act of employing, using, or putting into service: the use of tools.
the state of being employed or used.
an instance or way of employing or using something: proper use of the tool; the painter's use of color.
a way of being employed or used; a purpose for which something is used: He was of temporary use. The instrument has different uses.
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.
service or advantage in or for being employed or used; utility or usefulness: of no practical use.
help; profit; resulting good: What's the use of pursuing the matter?
occasion or need, as for something to be employed or used: Would you have any use for another calendar?
continued, habitual, or customary employment or practice; custom: to follow the prevailing use of such occasions.
  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.
Liturgy. the distinctive form of ritual or of any liturgical observance used in a particular church, diocese, community, etc.
usual or customary experience.

Verb Phrases

use up,
  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.

Origin of use

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English usen < Old French user < Latin ūsus, past participle of ūtī to use; (noun) Middle English < Old French < Latin ūsus act of using a thing, application, employment, equivalent to ūt-, stem of ūtī to use + -tus suffix of v. action, with tt > s

1. Use, utilize mean to make something serve one's purpose. Use is the general word: to use a telephone; to use a saw and other tools; to use one's eyes; to use eggs in cooking. (What is used often has depreciated or been diminished, sometimes completely consumed: a used automobile; All the butter has been used. ) As applied to persons, use implies some selfish or sinister purpose: to use another to advance oneself. Utilize implies practical or profitable use: to utilize the means at hand, a modern system of lighting. 3. exhaust, waste. 7. familiarize, inure. 12. employment, utilization, application, exercise. 13. handling.

Related forms
Can be confuseduse usage utilize (see usage note at usage) (see synonym study at the current entry)

Usage note

See usage. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for uses

British Dictionary definitions for uses


verb (juːz) (tr)

to put into service or action; employ for a given purposeto use a spoon to stir with
to make a practice or habit of employing; exercisehe uses his brain
to behave towardsto use a friend well
to behave towards in a particular way for one's own endshe uses people
to consume, expend, or exhaustthe engine uses very little oil
mainly US and Canadian to partake of (alcoholic drink, drugs, etc) or smoke (tobacco, marijuana, etc)

noun (juːs)

the act of using or the state of being usedthe carpet wore out through constant use
the ability, right, or permission to use
the occasion to use; needI have no use for this paper
an instance or manner of using
usefulness; advantageit is of no use to complain
custom; practice; habitlong use has inured him to it
the purpose for which something is used; end
Christianity a distinctive form of liturgical or ritual observance, esp one that is traditional in a Church or group of Churches
the enjoyment of property, land, etc, by occupation or by deriving revenue or other benefit from it
law the beneficial enjoyment of property the legal title to which is held by another person as trustee
law an archaic word for trust (def. 7)
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 mentionedCompare mention (def. 7) See also material mode
have no use for
  1. to have no need of
  2. to have a contemptuous dislike for
make use of
  1. to employ; use
  2. to exploit (a person)
See also used to, use up

Word Origin for use

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

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 uses
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with uses


In addition to the idioms beginning with use

  • used to
  • use one's head
  • use up

also see:

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

Also see underused.

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