us·age | \ˈyü-sij, -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

This is compounded by restrictions on internet usage and people being afraid to take part in civil society activism—both have diminished the spaces where people can seek help and support. Salil Shetty, Time, "Today I Visited My Turkish Colleague in Prison. Erdogan’s Crackdown Must Stop," 20 June 2018 Trahern declined to comment on personnel usage for safety reasons. Tom Roland, Billboard, "CMA Music Festival: Security (and Temps) Were Up, But the Sound Was Still Central," 12 June 2018 Another merger condition in place for seven years prevents Charter from imposing data caps or charging for Internet service based on data usage. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast, AT&T, Verizon say they have no paid prioritization plans," 12 June 2018 The new entry-level plan's limitations are pretty much the same as on the old Unlimited Choice plan—data can be slowed down at any time of the month, video quality is capped to about 480p, and there is no hotspot usage. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T removed HBO from an unlimited data plan after buying Time Warner," 28 June 2018 Adamson said bike lanes would be an appropriate place for scooters until the city establishes additional rules on usage. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Now that electric scooters are all over Indianapolis, they're not going away," 28 June 2018 Carolyn Beeler of Public Radio International chronicles the decision’s instigating events including divisive strikes, climate change awareness, and a levy on coal usage. Katie Kosma, Longreads, "Mining Britain’s Recent Past to Save Our Future," 21 June 2018 The following pie charts are from Statcast, and detail Pivetta’s pitch usage since entering the majors. Michael Beller,, "Phillies Starter Nick Pivetta Looks Improved, But Is It Simply an Illusion?," 13 Apr. 2018 The area near the University of Cincinnati has the highest usage rate in the city at 46 percent. Sharon Coolidge,, "Park your car in Cincinnati? It's going to cost you (a lot) more.," 3 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near usage





usage note



Phrases Related to usage

enter common usage

usage note

Statistics for usage

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for usage

The first known use of usage was in the 14th century

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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, -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 \

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 state of commotion or excitement

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