Meaning of USE in English

I. ˈyüs noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English us, use, from Old French us, from Latin usus use, employment, custom, from usus, past participle of uti to use, employ


a. : the act or practice of using something : employment

a use of his public post to secure a favor for a friend

become familiar with algebra through the use of a good text

an increase in the use of intoxicating liquors

the use of subsidies to hold food prices down — Current Biography

: application

knowledge … to be valuable must be ready for use — C.H.Grandgent

b. : the fact or state of being used

a lamp in daily use for over 50 years

put the new broom to use

expressions out of use except in dialect

when fountain pens first came into use

c. : continued or repeated exercise or employment

worn out through long use

d. : a method or manner of using something

the water in the font, having once been consecrated, tempted folk to superstitious uses — G.G.Coulton

gain proficiency in the use of the typewriter



(1) : habitual or customary practice : accustomed or usual procedure

(2) : an individual habit or group custom

it had been a family use … to make a point of saving for him anything which he might possibly eat — Mary Austin

b. : a liturgical form or observance

ferial use

festal use

especially : a liturgy having modifications peculiar to a local church or diocese (as in England before the Reformation) or a religious order

the celebration of Mass in those religious orders … whose use differs from the standard Roman rite — advt

from henceforth all the whole realm shall have but one use — Book of Com. Prayer

c. obsolete : common occurrence : ordinary experience

these things are beyond all use — Shakespeare


a. : the privilege or benefit of using something

offered him the use of his pen for signing

had the use of the usual class time for study

nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation — U.S. Constitution

the Lord bless this food to our use , and us to His service — Book of Com. Worship

b. : the ability or power to use something (as a limb or faculty)

regained the use of his arm

still has the use of his speech

c. : the legal enjoyment of property that consists in its employment, occupation, exercise, or practice

use of the automobile is covered by insurance

d. : a personal servitude under Roman and civil law consisting in a jus utendi as distinguished from the usufruct


a. : a particular service or end : purpose , object , function

put his learning to a good use

the river waters were dammed for power use — American Guide Series: Michigan

develop the industrial uses of atomic energy


(1) : the quality of being suitable for employment : capability of filling a need or promoting an advantage : usefulness , utility

being ready first was of little use , since you were then called on to button the others — Natacha Stewart

old clothes that might be of some use to refugees

(2) : something that fills a need or gives a benefit or advantage — used predicatively

the thing that any artist must have to go on: the feeling … that he's some use in the world — Deems Taylor

small use to argue if he's already made up his mind

especially in negative constructions

it is no use reading this article any further until you have settled this first point for yourself — J.B.Nettleship

c. : the occasion or need to employ : necessity , demand

took only what he had use for

found little use for his rifle


a. : the benefit in law of one or more persons ; specifically : the benefit of or the profit arising from lands and tenements to which legal title is held by a person in whom a trust or confidence is reposed that another person should take and enjoy — compare cestui que use

b. : a legal arrangement that is a right in equity by which such benefits and profits are established in one other than the legal possessor of the property — compare trust

6. chiefly dialect : money paid for the use of a loan : interest

7. : a part of a sermon in which a doctrine is applied to life : practical application

the discourse … was divided into fifteen heads, each of which was garnished with seven uses of application — Sir Walter Scott

8. : a rough block of iron or steel suitable for working up into small forgings or for welding in making large ones

9. : a favorable attitude toward a person or thing as having worth or use : esteem , liking — used with for in negative constructions

had no use for most sales managers — Time

had very little use for the music of most of his contemporaries — Deems Taylor


service , advantage , profit , account , avail , and use have in common a sense of a useful or valuable end, result, or purpose. use stresses the practicality of the end, result, or purpose for which something is employed

a tool with many uses

put a gift of money to good use in paying off debts

service is used more frequently of persons or animals or their work or activities than of inanimate things; in relation to persons it usually suggests self-abnegation

a man of great service to the community

put a horse to good service in hauling logs

advantage puts stress upon improvement of one's position or enhancement of something one considers of value, especially personal value

gain the advantage of a steady income

offer valuable educational advantages — American Guide Series: Minnesota

find some advantage in even the worst circumstances

profit is more particular in usually implying reward, often the rewarding character of what is attained but commonly pecuniary gain

whether or not they found the sources of the gold they were seeking, they certainly drew other profits from their venture — British Book News

pursue graduate studies with profit — Official Register of Harvard University

coal and steel interests were merging with mutual profit — American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

account usually suggests a calculated value; it occurs commonly in fixed phrases

turn every talent to good account

consider a small loss of no account in the long run

avail strongly suggests effectualness or effectiveness, occurring usually in idiomatic phrases mostly in the negative

medicine that is of no avail in curing a given disease

of what avail is it to spend time dreaming

Synonym: see in addition habit .

- in use

II. ˈyüz, in vi sense 1 |yüs sometimes |yüz verb

( used ˈyüzd, in vi sense 1 |yüst (|yüs when “to” follows immediately ) sometimes |yüz(d) ; used ; using ; uses )

Etymology: Middle English usen, from Old French user, from Medieval Latin usare, from Latin usus, past participle of uti to use, employ, enjoy; akin to Oscan úíttiuf uses (accusative plural)

transitive verb


a. archaic : to observe or follow as a custom

the like custom is used throughout the dominions — Samuel Purchas

it was in old times used … for men to shave themselves — Richard Montagu

b. archaic : to follow or practice regularly as a mode of life or action

then let them use the office of a deacon — 1 Tim. 3:10 (Authorized Version)

c. archaic : to make familiar by repeated or continued practice or experience : accustom , habituate , inure

spoke near the sea in storms … to use himself to speak aloud — Earl of Chesterfield

d. chiefly dialect : to resort to regularly : frequent

it uses more the low sandy inland parts than the plovers — Hans Sloane

2. : to put into action or service : have recourse to or enjoyment of : employ

the pronunciations that people from different parts of the country use

wondered whether he would ever use the tie she had given him

: exercise

examiners will use judgment and discretion in applying the exercise test — H.G.Armstrong

use his political influence to get the job


a. : to speak or write in (a language)

they speak little Welsh — only forty or so in a thousand use the tongue — Wilfrid Goatman

b. : to consume or take (as liquor or drugs) regularly

does not give scholarships to students who use tobacco

do you use sugar in your coffee

c. archaic : to have sexual relations with

… did carnally know and use his wife — Francis Hackett

d. archaic : to practice or exercise upon or toward others

I guess by the … waspish action which she did use — Shakespeare

with their tongues they have used deceit — Rom 3:13 (Authorized Version)

3. : to carry out a purpose or action by means of : make instrumental to an end or process : apply to advantage : turn to account : utilize

carried air mail using two small single-engined planes and five employees — Current Biography

some of the best tests … can be used only by professional psychologists — Bruce Payne


a. : to spend (time) in some occupation, interest, or activity : pass

they use 30 days in traveling … about 1,000 miles — F.C.Lincoln

stop by the way … to chase a rabbit, or merely to use time — Joyce Cary

b. : to make an involuntary or concealed means to one's own ends

he is being used and manipulated by the knowing men around him — T.R.Ybarra

juries … may be used to suppress writings in opposition to the government — Zechariah Chafee

c. : to employ a word, phrase, or sentence to refer

to say “ life is a short word” is to mention the word life … but to say “Life is short” is to use it — R.G.F.Robinson

4. : to expend or consume by putting to use

percent of the world's population … produces and uses almost one half of the industrial goods and services — C.C.Furnas


a. archaic : to bear (oneself) in relations with others : behave , conduct

he used himself more like a fellow to your Highness than like a subject — Edward Herbert

b. : to behave toward : act with regard to : treat

had been taken prisoner by … partisans, who had used him with some brutality — Eric Linklater

6. : to apply or have applied as the usual designation (as a title or surname) of a person

took his friends a while to acquire the habit of using the “ doctor ” after he received his Ph.D.

a woman who uses her maiden name professionally

7. : to benefit from the use of

houses that could use a paint job — J.W.Ellison b. 1929

I can use some of that gold — E.B.Lung

intransitive verb


a. : to be in the habit or custom : make a practice of doing something : be wont

sit here by the window with your hand in mine … both of one mind, as married people use — Robert Browning

he does not use to be last on these occasions — George Lillo

the black coachman, who had used to drive … the carriage — Marguerite Young

patrons who used to do their banking on Friday

use to have tallyho parties out on the … pike when we were young — Anne G. Winslow

used you to beat your mother — G.B.Shaw

b. — used in the past with to to indicate a former fact or state

claims the winters used to be harder

isn't going to take as long as it used to

didn't use to have a car

2. chiefly dialect

a. : to make a practice of going to a place : resort to customarily : go regularly

if he didn't quit using around there she would make trouble for him — Mark Twain

b. : to occupy a place as a settled residence or habitat : dwell , live — usually used of an animal

I know where the gray fox uses up yonder — R.A.Helton


employ , utilize , apply , avail : use is general and indicates any putting to service of a thing, usually for an intended or fit purpose or person, in this latter reference with implications or inconsiderate or high-handed treatment

use a jack to raise a car

use a knife blade to pry up a lid

use money wisely

used his business experience to place the country in a better financial position — S.G.Inman

his sense of being used rose suddenly above the treacherous sympathy he had begun to feel for her — Booth Tarkington

employ may imply purposive selection, continued use or utilization, or smart turning to account

by the dialect which he employs the author betrays that he was an Ionian Greek — Benjamin Farrington

frequently lotteries were employed to raise funds for channel clearing — American Guide Series: Tennessee

utilize may indicate finding a new, profitable, or practical use for something

it was now charged against him that he utilized his military office for private gain — R.G.Adams

all civilized governments have utilized the Indians as military allies — M.M.Quaife

a huge wine bottle, utilized as a pivot for the rooster weather vane when no other instrument would hold — American Guide Series: Michigan

apply may imply a using or employing especially for a particular purpose or in a particular situation, sometimes with the suggestion of bringing into contact or relationship

apply salve to a burn

apply pressure at a crucial point

the value of applying statistical methods to the data

undertakes to apply the findings of science to personal problems — American Guide Series: Michigan

avail in reflexive uses applies to a using or taking advantage of something one might waive or leave untouched

I doubt if I should abuse the permission. It is a hundred to one if I should avail myself of it four times a year — Charles Dickens

takes us thus directly into the consciousness of his characters, and in order to do so, he has availed himself of methods of which Flaubert never dreamed — Edmund Wilson

- use language

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.