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noun \ˈyüs\

Simple Definition of use

  • : the act of using something

  • : the state of being used

  • : a way in which something is or can be used

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of use

  1. 1 a :  the act or practice of employing something :  employment, application <he made good use of his spare time> b :  the fact or state of being used <a dish in daily use> c :  a method or manner of employing or applying something <gained practice in the use of the camera>

  2. 2 a (1) :  habitual or customary usage (2) :  an individual habit or group custom b :  a liturgical form or observance; especially :  a liturgy having modifications peculiar to a local church or religious order

  3. 3 a :  the privilege or benefit of using something <gave him the use of her car> b :  the ability or power to use something (as a limb or faculty) c :  the legal enjoyment of property that consists in its employment, occupation, exercise, or practice

  4. 4 a :  a particular service or end <put learning to practical use> b :  the quality of being suitable for employment <saving things that might be of use> c :  good 2b <it's no use arguing> d :  the occasion or need to employ <took only what they had use for>

  5. 5 a :  the benefit in law of one or more persons; specifically :  the benefit or profit of property established in one other than the legal possessor b :  a legal arrangement by which such benefits and profits are so established

  6. 6 :  a favorable attitude :  liking <had no use for modern art>

Examples of use in a sentence

  1. Two players were suspended for illegal drug use.

  2. Doctors have found a new use for the drug.

  3. According to the dictionary, the word has two uses.

Origin of use

Middle English us, from Anglo-French, from Latin usus, from uti to use

First Known Use: 13th century



verb, \ˈyüz\

Simple Definition of use

  • : to do something with (an object, machine, person, method, etc.) in order to accomplish a task, do an activity, etc.

  • : to take (something) from a supply in order to function or to do a task

  • : to eat, drink, etc., (something) regularly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of use

used play \ˈyüzd, in the phrase “used to” usually ˈyüs(t)\ using play \ˈyü-ziŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  accustom, habituate

  3. 2 :  to put into action or service :  avail oneself of :  employ

  4. 3 :  to consume or take (as liquor or drugs) regularly

  5. 4 :  to carry out a purpose or action by means of :  utilize; also :  manipulate 2b <used him selfishly>

  6. 5 :  to expend or consume by putting to use —often used with up

  7. 6 :  to behave toward :  act with regard to :  treat <used the prisoners cruelly>

  8. 7 :  stand 1d <the house could use a coat of paint>

  9. intransitive verb
  10. 1 —used in the past with to to indicate a former fact or state <we used to go more often> <didn't use to smoke>

  11. 2 :  to take illicit drugs regularly

Examples of use in a sentence

  1. I need to use the phone when you're done.

  2. The machine is easy to use.

  3. After the accident, she could no longer use her legs.

  4. We use only organic fertilizers on our farm.

  5. They make paper using traditional Japanese methods.

  6. He used his time there well.

  7. Which accountant do you use?

  8. a new kind of light bulb that uses very little electricity

  9. Did you use all the eggs?

  10. Who used the last match?

14th Century

First Known Use of use

14th century

Synonym Discussion of use

use, employ, utilize mean to put into service especially to attain an end. use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument to an end <willing to use any means to achieve her ends>. employ suggests the use of a person or thing that is available but idle, inactive, or disengaged <looking for better ways to employ their skills>. utilize may suggest the discovery of a new, profitable, or practical use for something <an old wooden bucket utilized as a planter>.

USE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈyüz\

Definition of use for Students

used \ˈyüzd, in the phrase "used to" usually ˈyüst\using \ˈyü-ziŋ\

  1. 1 :  to put into action or service :  make use of <use tools> <use good English>

  2. 2 —used with to to show a former custom, fact, or state <Grandma said winters used to be harder.>

  3. 3 :  to take into the body <people who use drugs> <I don't use sugar in tea.>

  4. 4 :  to do something by means of <Be sure to use care.>

  5. 5 :  to behave toward :  treat <He used the children kindly.>

user noun
use up
  1. :  to make complete use of :  exhaust <We used up the supply of firewood within a week.>

Word Root of use

The Latin word ūtī, meaning “to use,” “to possess,” or “to enjoy,” and its form ūsus give us the roots ut and us. Words from the Latin ūtī have something to do with use. To use is to possess and enjoy. To abuse is to use something incorrectly or unfairly. Anything usual is commonly used by many people. A utensil is a tool that is used for a particular purpose, especially for eating or cooking.



noun \ˈyüs\

Definition of use for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of putting something into action or service <put knowledge to use>

  2. 2 :  the fact or state of being put into action or service <a book in daily use>

  3. 3 :  way of putting into action or service <the proper use of tools>

  4. 4 :  the ability or power to put something into action or service <It's a blessing to have the use of one's legs.>

  5. 5 :  the quality or state of being useful

  6. 6 :  a reason or need to put into action or service <I've no use for it.>

  7. 7 :  liking <We have no use for mean people.>

Law Dictionary



noun \ˈyüs\

Legal Definition of use

  1. 1a :  an arrangement in which property is granted to another with the trust and confidence that the grantor or another is entitled to the beneficial enjoyment of it — see also trust, Statute of Uses Editor's note: Uses originated in early English law and were the origin of the modern trust. Uses became popular in medieval England, where they were often secretly employed as a method of evading laws (as those prohibiting mortmain) and penalties (as attainder) and to defeat creditors. In response, the Statute of Uses was enacted in 1535. The purpose of the Statute was to execute the use, investing the legal ownership of the property in the cestui que use, or one entitled to the beneficial enjoyment, and abolishing the ownership of the grantee. The Statute did not have blanket application, however. Certain uses, particularly those in which the grantee was not merely a passive holder of the property, were not executed under the Statute. These uses were called trusts, and they were the basis of the modern trust. b :  the right to the utilization and benefit of property to which legal title is held by another <the secret conveyance of uses in early English law>; broadly :  the fact or right of having the benefits and profits of property beneficial use :  the use of a cestui que use analogous to a beneficial interest in a trust :  use 1b resulting use :  a use that equity attributes back to a grantor when there is no person declared to receive it or no transfer of consideration shifting use :  a use that is transferred or takes effect in derogation of some estate upon the happening of a future event springing use :  a use that arises upon the happening of a future event and is not in derogation of any other estate

  2. 2 :  the utilization of property, resources, or services beneficial use 1 :  use of property that allows an owner to derive a benefit or profit in the exercise of a basic property right <the owner was entitled to just compensation when he was forced to sacrifice all beneficial use of the property> — see also unnecessary hardship — compare taking 2 :  use of water for a reasonable or beneficial purpose consistent with the public interest <authorize the diversion of water for beneficial use> conditional use :  use of property in a zone for a particular purpose that is allowed under conditions set forth in a zoning ordinance :  special exception fair use :  a use of copyrighted material that does not constitute an infringement of the copyright provided the use is fair and reasonable and does not substantially impair the value of the work or the profits expected from it by its owner; also :  the privilege of making a fair use of copyrighted work Editor's note: Among the factors determining if a use of a copyrighted work is a fair use are these: the purpose of the use, the character of the use (as in being commercial or educational in nature), the nature of the copyrighted work, and the amount of the work used. nonconforming use :  use of property in a manner that does not conform to the restrictions of a zoning law (as an ordinance); specifically :  use in lawful existence when a restriction takes effect and so allowed to continue public use 1 :  use by or to the benefit of the public; broadly :  use that serves a legitimate or conceivable public purpose <nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation — U.S. Constitution amend. V> — see also eminent domain — compare taking Editor's note: If a taking of property is not for public use then the consent of the owner is required. 2 :  use of an invention by one who is under no limitation, restriction, or obligation of secrecy to the inventor Editor's note: Under federal law one is not entitled to a patent for an invention that was in public use more than a year prior to the date of application for the patent. reasonable use 1 :  a use of one's property or of water that is for a suitable and beneficial purpose and that does not lead to unreasonable interference with another's use of property or with the natural flow of water 2a :  a rule whereby one may alter the natural flow of a watercourse as part of the reasonable use of property even though some harm results to another landowner b :  a rule whereby a use of the water under the surface of one's land that causes harm to an adjacent landowner is reasonable if made for a suitable purpose in connection with the overlying land Editor's note: This rule originated when cities began to use land in the country for wells that caused injury to adjacent farmers; the water was not for use there and so unreasonableness ultimately depended not on waste or harm but on the final destination of the water. c :  a rule that recognizes a landowner as entitled to make a reasonable use of property if it does not cause unreasonable harm to another and that may be applied to the alteration of a watercourse, the drainage of surface water, and the use of water beneath the surface

  3. 3 :  utilization of a motor vehicle in a manner that is not completely foreign to its purpose <insurance for accidents arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use of the car>



transitive verb \ˈyüz\

Legal Definition of use


  1. :  to put into service :  have enjoyment of

user noun

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