Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of use
Meaning of use by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms

    • uſe ( archaic )

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English use, from Old French us, from Latin usus ( “use, custom, skill, habit” ), from past participle stem of uti ( “use” ). Replaced native Middle English note ( “use” ) ( See note ) from Old English notu, and Middle English nutte ( “use” ) from Old English nytt .


    • ( UK ) enPR: yo͞os, IPA: /juːs/, X-SAMPA: /ju:s/
    • ( US ) enPR: yo͞os, IPA: /jus/, X-SAMPA: /jus/
    • Rhymes: -uːs


    use ( plural: uses )

    1. The act of using .
      The use of torture has been condemned by the United Nations .
      There is no use for your invention .
    2. ( uncountable, followed by "of" ) Usefulness, benefit .
      What's the use of a law that nobody abides to?
    3. A function; a purpose for which something may be employed .
      This tool has many uses .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English usen, from Old French user ( “use, employ, practice” ), from Vulgar Latin *usare "use", frequentative form of past participle stem of Latin uti ( “to use” ). Replaced native Middle English noten, nutten ( “to use” ) ( from Old English notian, nēotan, nyttian ) and Middle English brouken, bruken ( “to use, enjoy” ) ( from Old English brūcan ) .


    • ( UK ) enPR: yo͞oz, IPA: /juːz/, X-SAMPA: /ju:z/
    • ( US ) enPR: yo͞oz, IPA: /juz/, X-SAMPA: /juz/
    Rhymes: -uːz
    Homophones: ewes, yews, yous, youse


    use ( third-person singular simple present uses present participle using, simple past and past participle used )

    1. ( archaic ) To accustom; to habituate .
    2. ( transitive ) To employ; to apply; to utilize .
      Use this knife to slice the bread .
      We can use this mathematical formula to solve the problem .
    3. ( transitive, often with “up” ) To exhaust the supply of; to consume by employing
      We should use up most of the fuel .
    4. ( transitive ) To exploit .
      You never cared about me, you just used me!
    5. ( intransitive, now rare, literary ) To habitually do; to be wont to do.
    6. ( intransitive, past tense with infinitive ) To habitually do. See used to .
      I used to get things done .
    Derived terms

    See also

    • use in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913



    • SEU
    • sue, Sue
    • uſes

Explanation of use by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. use up, consume fully

    2. put into service

    3. use your head!
      we only use Spanish at home
      I can't use this tool
      use the plastic bags to store the food
      He doesn't know how to use a computer
    4. take or consume ( regularly or habitually )

    5. She uses drugs rarely
    6. habitually do something ( use only in the past tense )

    7. She used to call her mother every week but now she calls only occasionally
      I used to get sick when I ate in that dining hall
      They used to vacation in the Bahamas
    8. avail oneself to

    9. use care when going down the stairs
      use your common sense
    10. seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage

    11. She uses her influential friends to get jobs
      The president's wife used her good connections
    1. exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage

    2. an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation

    3. long use had hardened him to it
    4. the act of using

    5. he warned against the use of narcotic drugs
    6. what something is used for

    7. ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
    8. a particular service

    9. he put his knowledge to good use
      patrons have their uses
    10. the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property

    11. we were given the use of his boat
    12. the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing

    Definition of use by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Use n. [OE. us use, usage, L. usus, from uti, p. p. usus, to use. See Use, v. t.]

      1. The act of employing anything, or of applying it to one's service; the state of being so employed or applied; application; employment; conversion to some purpose; as, “the use of a pen in writing; his machines are in general use”.

      Books can never teach the use of books. Bacon.

      This Davy serves you for good uses. Shak.

      When he framed

      All things to man's delightful use. Milton.

      2. Occasion or need to employ; necessity; as, “to have no further use for a book”. Shak.

      3. Yielding of service; advantage derived; capability of being used; usefulness; utility.

      God made two great lights, great for their use

      To man. Milton.

      'T is use alone that sanctifies expense. Pope.

      4. Continued or repeated practice; customary employment; usage; custom; manner; habit.

      Let later age that noble use envy. Spenser.

      How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,

      Seem to me all the uses of this world! Shak.

      5. Common occurrence; ordinary experience. [R.]

      O Caesar! these things are beyond all use. Shak.

      6. ( Eccl. ) The special form of ritual adopted for use in any diocese; as, “the Sarum, or Canterbury, use; the Hereford use; the York use; the Roman use; etc”.

      From henceforth all the whole realm shall have but one use. Pref. to Book of Common Prayer.

      7. The premium paid for the possession and employment of borrowed money; interest; usury. [Obs.]

      Thou art more obliged to pay duty and tribute, use and principal, to him. Jer. Taylor.

      8. [In this sense probably a corruption of OF. oes, fr. L. opus need, business, employment, work. Cf. Operate.] ( Law ) The benefit or profit of lands and tenements. Use imports a trust and confidence reposed in a man for the holding of lands. He to whose use or benefit the trust is intended shall enjoy the profits. An estate is granted and limited to A for the use of B.

      9. ( Forging ) A stab of iron welded to the side of a forging, as a shaft, near the end, and afterward drawn down, by hammering, so as to lengthen the forging.

      Contingent use, or Springing use ( Law ), a use to come into operation on a future uncertain event. -- In use. In employment; in customary practice observance. In heat; -- said especially of mares. J. H. Walsh. -- Of no use, useless; of no advantage. -- Of use, useful; of advantage; profitable. -- Out of use, not in employment. -- Resulting use ( Law ), a use, which, being limited by the deed, expires or can not vest, and results or returns to him who raised it, after such expiration. -- Secondary use, or Shifting use, a use which, though executed, may change from one to another by circumstances. Blackstone. -- Statute of uses ( Eng. Law ), the stat. 27 Henry VIII., cap. 10, which transfers uses into possession, or which unites the use and possession. -- To make use of, To put to use, to employ; to derive service from; to use.

    2. Use v. t. [imp. & p. p. Used ; p. pr. & vb. n. Using.] [OE. usen, F. user to use, use up, wear out, LL. usare to use, from L. uti, p. p. usus, to use, OL. oeti, oesus; of uncertain origin. Cf. Utility.]

      1. To make use of; to convert to one's service; to avail one's self of; to employ; to put a purpose; as, “to use a plow; to use a chair; to use time; to use flour for food; to use water for irrigation.”

      Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs. Shak.

      Some other means I have which may be used. Milton.

      2. To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat; as, “to use a beast cruelly”. “I will use him well.” Shak.

      How wouldst thou use me now? Milton.

      Cato has used me ill. Addison.

      3. To practice customarily; to make a practice of; as, “to use diligence in business”.

      Use hospitality one to another. 1 Pet. iv. 9.

      4. To accustom; to habituate; to render familiar by practice; to inure; -- employed chiefly in the passive participle; as, “men used to cold and hunger; soldiers used to hardships and danger”.

      I am so used in the fire to blow. Chaucer.

      Thou with thy compeers,

      Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels. Milton.

      To use one's self, to behave. [Obs.] “Pray, forgive me, if I have used myself unmannerly.” Shak. -- To use up. To consume or exhaust by using; to leave nothing of; as, “to use up the supplies”. To exhaust; to tire out; to leave no capacity of force or use in; to overthrow; as, “he was used up by fatigue”. [Colloq.]

      Syn. -- Employ. -- Use, Employ. We use a thing, or make use of it, when we derive from it some enjoyment or service. We employ it when we turn that service into a particular channel. We use words to express our general meaning; we employ certain technical terms in reference to a given subject. To make use of, implies passivity in the thing; as, “to make use of a pen”; and hence there is often a material difference between the two words when applied to persons. To speak of “making use of another” generally implies a degrading idea, as if we had used him as a tool; while employ has no such sense. A confidential friend is employed to negotiate; an inferior agent is made use of on an intrigue.

      I would, my son, that thou wouldst use the power

      Which thy discretion gives thee, to control

      And manage all. Cowper.

      To study nature will thy time employ:

      Knowledge and innocence are perfect joy. Dryden.

    3. Use v. i.
      1. To be wont or accustomed; to be in the habit or practice; as, “he used to ride daily”; -- now disused in the present tense, perhaps because of the similarity in sound, between “use to,” and “used to.”

      They use to place him that shall be their captain on a stone. Spenser.

      Fears use to be represented in an imaginary. Bacon.

      Thus we use to say, it is the room that smokes, when indeed it is the fire in the room. South.

      Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it without the camp. Ex. xxxiii. 7 ( Rev. Ver. )

      2. To be accustomed to go; to frequent; to inhabit; to dwell; -- sometimes followed by of. [Obs.] “Where never foot did use.” Spenser.

      He useth every day to a merchant's house. B. Jonson.

      Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use

      Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks. Milton.