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use Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of using
    utilization; utilisation; usage; employment; exercise.
    • he warned against the use of narcotic drugs
    • skilled in the utilization of computers
  2. noun what something is used for
    function; role; purpose.
    • the function of an auger is to bore holes
    • ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
  3. noun a particular service
    • he put his knowledge to good use
    • patrons have their uses
  4. noun (economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing
    usance; use of goods and services; economic consumption; consumption.
    • the consumption of energy has increased steadily
  5. noun (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
    • owls have nocturnal habits
    • she had a habit twirling the ends of her hair
    • long use had hardened him to it
  6. noun exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
    • his manipulation of his friends was scandalous
  7. noun (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property
    • we were given the use of his boat
  8. verb put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    employ; apply; utilize; utilise.
    • use your head!
    • 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
  9. verb take or consume (regularly or habitually)
    • She uses drugs rarely
  10. verb use up, consume fully
    • The legislature expended its time on school questions
  11. verb seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage
    • She uses her influential friends to get jobs
    • The president's wife used her good connections
  12. verb avail oneself to
    apply; practice.
    • apply a principle
    • practice a religion
    • use care when going down the stairs
    • use your common sense
    • practice non-violent resistance
  13. verb habitually do something (use only in the past tense)
    • 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

Use noun
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 Cæsar! 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.
Use transitive verb
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.
imperfect & past participle Used ; present participle & verbal noun Using
  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.
    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.
Use intransitive verb
  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.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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