us·​age | \ ˈyü-sij How to pronounce usage (audio) , -zij\

Definition of usage

1a : firmly established and generally accepted practice or procedure
b : a uniform certain reasonable lawful practice existing in a particular locality or occupation and binding persons entering into transactions chiefly on the basis of presumed familiarity
c : the way in which words and phrases are actually used (as in a particular form or sense) in a language community
2a : the action, amount, or mode of using a decreased usage of electricity
b : manner of treating

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Choose the Right Synonym for usage

habit, practice, usage, custom, wont mean a way of acting fixed through repetition. habit implies a doing unconsciously and often compulsively. had a habit of tapping his fingers practice suggests an act or method followed with regularity and usually through choice. our practice is to honor all major credit cards usage suggests a customary action so generally followed that it has become a social norm. western-style dress is now common usage in international business custom applies to a practice or usage so steadily associated with an individual or group as to have almost the force of unwritten law. the custom of wearing black at funerals wont usually applies to a habitual manner, method, or practice of an individual or group. as was her wont, she slept until noon

Examples of usage in a Sentence

Seat belt usage in the state is now mandatory. drug usage among college students Restaurant dishes must be able to withstand rough usage. efforts to reduce water usage increasing usage of the nation's highways This word occurs in casual usage. differences between British and American usage I came across an uncommon usage I'd like to discuss with you.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Last year, the software company RescueTime gathered and aggregated anonymized computer-usage logs from tens of thousands of people. Cal Newport, The New Yorker, "Was E-mail a Mistake?," 6 Aug. 2019 The debate surrounding plastic usage, particularly straws, became heated in 2015 after a video shows rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle's nose in graphic and bloody detail. Fox News, "McDonald's new paper straws are recyclable, but cannot be recycled, company says," 5 Aug. 2019 His adaptability allows for more creative usage, and with plans to do more than just run him up the middle, that frees up the rest of the offense as well. 4. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Five things to watch for at the Arizona Cardinals' Red and White Practice," 2 Aug. 2019 Thompson is about as low-usage as backcourt stars come, famously scoring 60 points in December 2016 on just 11 dribbles. Michael Nowels, The Mercury News, "Warriors backcourt duo of Curry and Russell share offseason workout," 29 July 2019 Cornell University is among the colleges around the U.S. adding courses related to marijuana cultivation and usage, which is thriving thanks to legalization for recreational use in 11 states and is permitted in 33 states for medical purposes. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "At some colleges, students can now bone up on marijuana," 29 July 2019 While the mix isn’t overpowering, he’s shown improved sequencing, pitch usage (heavier reliance on the curve), and command to dominate. Alex Speier,, "Marcus Wilson makes most of demotion to regain his footing," 27 July 2019 About 46,000 New York City customers were blacked out as of 9 p.m. EDT because of continued heat and high usage, just one week after a transformer fire turned off the lights for nearly 75,000 people. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "With 46K blacked out, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rips Con Edison: 'They should have been better prepared'," 21 July 2019 During their testing, RootMetrics testers evaluated call quality, data usage, and texting. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Verizon Tops the Speed Charts in Latest RootMetrics Study," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'usage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of usage

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for usage

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from us use

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More Definitions for usage



English Language Learners Definition of usage

: the act of using something
: the way that something is used
: the amount of something that is used


us·​age | \ ˈyü-sij How to pronounce usage (audio) , -zij\

Kids Definition of usage

1 : usual way of doing things a business usage
2 : the way in which words and phrases are actually used
3 : the action of using : use The book was worn from long usage.


us·​age | \ ˈyü-sij, -zij How to pronounce usage (audio) \

Legal Definition of usage

: an habitual or uniform practice especially in an area or trade — compare custom

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More from Merriam-Webster on usage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for usage

Spanish Central: Translation of usage

Nglish: Translation of usage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on usage

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a period when something is suspended

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