Definition of


  1. (noun, act) exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
  2. (noun, act) (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
    she had a habit twirling the ends of her hair
    long use had hardened him to it
  3. (noun, act) the act of using
    skilled in the utilization of computers
  4. (noun, attribute) what something is used for
    ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
  5. (noun, attribute) a particular service
    patrons have their uses
  6. (noun, attribute) (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property
  7. (noun, process) (economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing
  8. (verb, consumption) use up, consume fully
  9. (verb, consumption) put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    we only use Spanish at home
    I can't use this tool
    Apply a magnetic field here
    This thinking was applied to many projects
    How do you utilize this tool?
    I apply this rule to get good results
    use the plastic bags to store the food
    He doesn't know how to use a computer
  10. (verb, consumption) take or consume (regularly or habitually)
  11. (verb, social) habitually do something (use only in the past tense)
    I used to get sick when I ate in that dining hall
    They used to vacation in the Bahamas
  12. (verb, social) avail oneself to
    practice a religion
    use care when going down the stairs
    use your common sense
    practice non-violent resistance
  13. (verb, social) seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage
    The president's wife used her good connections

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Use

  1. mid-13c., from O.Fr. user "use, employ, practice," from V.L. *usare "use," frequentative form of pp. stem of L. uti "to use," in Old L. oeti "use, employ, exercise, perform," of unknown origin. Replaced O.E. brucan (see brook (v.)). Used "second-hand" is recorded from 1590s. User is recorded from 1935 in the narcotics sense, 1967… more
  2. early 13c., from O.Fr. us, from L. usus "use, custom, skill, habit," from pp. stem of uti (see use (v.)). Useful is recorded from 1590s; useless is first attested 1590s. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Use

u.k., u.s., u.s. house, u.s.a., uca, uk, ukase, uke, us, us house, usa, usage, ushas, usss, uuq, ux., uzi

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