Meaning of USE in English



( uses, using, used)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


If you use something, you do something with it in order to do a job or to achieve a particular result or effect.

Trim off the excess pastry using a sharp knife...

He had simply used a little imagination...

Officials used loud hailers to call for calm...

The show uses Zondo’s trial and execution as its framework.

VERB : V n , V n , V n to-inf , V n prep


If you use a supply of something, you finish it so that none of it is left.

You used all the ice cubes and didn’t put the ice trays back...

They’ve never had anything spare–they’ve always used it all.

VERB : V n , V n

Use up means the same as use .

It isn’t them who use up the world’s resources...

We were breathing really fast, and using the air up quickly.

PHRASAL VERB : V P n (not pron) , V n P


If someone uses drugs, they take drugs regularly, especially illegal ones.

He denied he had used drugs...

= take, do

VERB : V n


You can say that someone uses the toilet or bathroom as a polite way of saying that they go to the toilet.

Wash your hands after using the toilet...

He asked whether he could use my bathroom.

VERB : V n , V n [ politeness ]


If you use a particular word or expression, you say or write it, because it has the meaning that you want to express.

The judge liked using the word ‘wicked’ of people he had sent to jail...

VERB : V n


If you use a particular name, you call yourself by that name, especially when it is not the name that you usually call yourself.

Now I use a false name if I’m meeting people for the first time...

VERB : V n


If you say that someone uses people, you disapprove of them because they make others do things for them in order to benefit or gain some advantage from it, and not because they care about the other people.

Be careful she’s not just using you...

Why do I have the feeling I’m being used again?

= exploit

VERB : V n , V n [ disapproval ]


see also used



( uses)

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


Your use of something is the action or fact of your using it.

The treatment does not involve the use of any artificial drugs.

...research related to microcomputers and their use in classrooms...

We are denied use of the land by the ruling classes...

He would support a use of force if the UN deemed it necessary.

N-UNCOUNT : also a N , usu N of n


If you have a use for something, you need it or can find something to do with it.

You will no longer have a use for the magazines...

They both loved the fabric, but couldn’t find a use for it.

N-SING : a N for n


If something has a particular use , it is intended for a particular purpose.

Infrared detectors have many uses...

It’s an interesting scientific phenomenon, but of no practical use whatever...

French furniture was designed for every use...

The report outlined possible uses for the new weapon.

...Elderflower Water for use as an eye and skin lotion...

We need to recognize that certain uses of the land upon which we live are simply wrong.

N-VAR : with supp , oft adj N , N of/for n , N as/in n


If you have the use of something, you have the permission or ability to use it.

She will have the use of the car one night a week.

...young people who at some point in the past have lost the use of their limbs...

You will have full use of all the new leisure club facilities.

N-UNCOUNT : also the N , usu N of n


A use of a word is a particular meaning that it has or a particular way in which it can be used.

There are new uses of words coming in and old uses dying out.

N-COUNT : with supp , oft N of n


Your use of a particular name is the fact of your calling yourself by it.

Police have been hampered by Mr Urquhart’s use of bogus names.

N-UNCOUNT : N of n


If something is for the use of a particular person or group of people, it is for that person or group to use.

The leisure facilities are there for the use of guests...

He raises crops mainly for the use of his family.



If you say that being something or knowing someone has its uses , you mean that it makes it possible for you to do what you otherwise would not be able to do. ( INFORMAL )

Being a hospital Sister had its uses.

PHRASE : V inflects


If something such as a technique, building, or machine is in use , it is used regularly by people. If it has gone out of use , it is no longer used regularly by people.

...the methods of making Champagne which are still in use today...

The site has been out of use for many years.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


If you make use of something, you do something with it in order to do a job or achieve a particular result or effect. ( WRITTEN )

Not all nursery schools make use of the opportunities open to them.

...making use of the same bottle time after time.

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR n


You use expressions such as it’s no use , there’s no use , and what’s the use to indicate that a particular action will not achieve anything.

It’s no use arguing with a drunk...

There’s no use you asking me any more questions...

What’s the use of complaining?

PHRASE : V inflects , usu PHR -ing


If you say it’s no use , you mean that you have failed to do something and realize that it is useless to continue trying because it is impossible.

It’s no use. Let’s hang up and try for a better line.

PHRASE : V inflects


If something or someone is of use , they are useful. If they are no use , they are not at all useful.

The contents of this booklet should be of use to all students...

I’m sorry, I’ve been no use to you.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR , oft PHR to n

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.