usage

noun

us·​age ˈyü-sij How to pronounce usage (audio)
-zij
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Streaming growth was slower in October compared with previous months, Nielsen said in a release published last week, though total streaming usage is up 35.1% over the past year. Nate Rattner, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2022 In fact, the birdsite's new owner has tweeted multiple times that usage is higher than ever. Evan Mcmurry, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2022 Microsoft account usage is also mandatory for the Home and Pro versions of the operating system as of the 22H2 update (though there are workarounds, including third-party tools). Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 9 Nov. 2022 Twitter usage is at an all-time high, Musk claims, but people are leaving in droves. Raven Smith, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2022 The usage is the overall lowest among the city’s nearly 4 million residents during those summer months since record keeping at the agency began in the early 1970s, said Marty Adams, the DWP’s general manager. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022 Jonathan Taylor's usage was hard to figure out today. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Oct. 2022 This year, though, pitcher usage has been closer to what had seemed like a bygone era. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2022 WeChat usage is almost universal in China, where most people never had a computer at home and skipped straight to going online by mobile phone. Barbara Ortutay, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from us use

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near usage

Cite this Entry

“Usage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/usage. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

usage

noun

us·​age ˈyü-sij How to pronounce usage (audio)
-zij
1
a
: usual practice or procedure
b
: the way in which words and phrases are actually used
2
a
: the action of using : use
increasing usage of the nation's highways
b
: manner of treating
restaurant dishes receive rough usage

Legal Definition

usage

noun

us·​age ˈyü-sij, -zij How to pronounce usage (audio)
: an habitual or uniform practice especially in an area or trade compare custom

More from Merriam-Webster on usage

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