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

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 Mask usage in various settings has been among the most controversial and divisive disease-prevention methods throughout the pandemic. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 12 Jan. 2022 Aside from plants having such a great finishing-touch appeal, the usage of plants can be very dynamic in a space. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 31 Dec. 2021 But the oil usage is only about 8 gallons, which is 20% of one barrel. Kate S. Petersen, USA TODAY, 15 Dec. 2021 But the usage is far from being widely accepted even to this day as those opposing the inclusive form of French hold steadfast to tradition. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 In the Bay Area, water use decreased 7.6%, while in the North Coast region, usage was down 12.4%. Ian James Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2021 The answer depends on the context (which should demonstrate whether water usage is compatible with human and ecosystem health). Brooke Roberts-islam, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 But in 2021, the phone loads apps and games quickly and is able to handle relatively heavy multitasking, and ultimately, day-to-day usage is more important than benchmarks. Christian De Looper, BGR, 25 Oct. 2021 According to data from Climate Transparency, coal usage is on track to increase 5% across the group this year, too, with China accounting for the majority of that increase. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 20 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for usage

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near usage



usage note

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Statistics for usage

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Usage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on usage

Nglish: Translation of usage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usage for Arabic Speakers


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