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 Adding the collection found on SimplyE and promoting open usage of companies like Scholastic and Junior Library Guild, the library expanded the e-materials available to its patrons., "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 11 Sep. 2020 The authoritative choice to cement a once-contentious usage affirmed the expansion of both the language and the politics of gender and sexuality in recent years. Bilal Qureshi, Washington Post, "The complicated, and sometimes surprising, global fight for LGBT rights," 11 Sep. 2020 New data shows fewer teens are vaping compared to last year, though officials warn e-cigarette usage among young people is still a prevalent problem. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Nearly 2 Million U.S. Teens Have Stopped Vaping in the Last Year," 10 Sep. 2020 Although media members weren’t allowed to report on scheme and personnel specifics during training camp, one of the few tidbits that did come out was that the Cowboys were going to be creative with their alignments and usage of their fronts. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 bold predictions for Cowboys-Rams, including a big night for TE Blake Jarwin," 10 Sep. 2020 Relief appears to be the biggest concern, especially because of the inconsistency, recent extra usage and run with no days off until Sept. 14. Mark Gonzales,, "Despite 2 home runs from Ian Happ, the Cubs can’t compensate for their many downfalls in 4-2 loss to Cardinals," 5 Sep. 2020 Mill shopping center closed on Feb. 15, leaving little usage of the vast swaths of sidewalk around the two former stores. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Sidewalk dining expansion set for Woodlands restaurants," 4 Sep. 2020 The word shifted away from its earlier foppish sense over the course of the 20th century, with African-American usage in particular moving it into an approving term for any man, as well as a term of address. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Dude’: Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Salutation Has 19th-Century Roots," 4 Sep. 2020 Match has had several record months just this past summer [in matches, messages, and usage. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Match’s CEO explains how dating has changed during the COVID pandemic," 3 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for usage

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Usage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for usage


How to pronounce usage (audio)

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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