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usu·​al ˈyü-zhə-wəl How to pronounce usual (audio)
: accordant with usage, custom, or habit : normal
: commonly or ordinarily used
followed his usual route
: found in ordinary practice or in the ordinary course of events : ordinary
ˈyü-zhə-wəl-nəs How to pronounce usual (audio)


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: something usual
as usual
: in the accustomed or habitual way
as usual they were late
Choose the Right Synonym for usual

usual, customary, habitual, wonted, accustomed mean familiar through frequent or regular repetition.

usual stresses the absence of strangeness or unexpectedness.

my usual order for lunch

customary applies to what accords with the practices, conventions, or usages of an individual or community.

the customary waiting period before the application is approved

habitual suggests a practice settled or established by much repetition.

a habitual morning routine

wonted stresses habituation but usually applies to what is favored, sought, or purposefully cultivated.

his wonted determination

accustomed is less emphatic than wonted or habitual in suggesting fixed habit or invariable custom.

accepted the compliment with her accustomed modesty

Example Sentences

Adjective She charges less than the usual fee. He took his usual route to work. the usual method for preparing chili She is not my usual doctor. It's usual to charge a fee for delivery. It's not usual for him to get home so late. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
This year was no exception, with even more points of intrigue in the mix than usual. Nick Scott, Robb Report, 27 Mar. 2023 With both short and long bristles on the spoolie — and ones that are stiffer than usual — this worked well for applying different amounts of product on different parts of the brow as needed. Melanie Rud, Peoplemag, 27 Mar. 2023 Mercury stations retrograde the following day on Friday, April 21, leading into a messy weekend for travel—stay closer to home from April 20 to 23 as transport and communication are bound to be slower than usual. Kirah Tabourn, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Mar. 2023 The weather will be drier and hotter than usual this spring along Spain’s northeastern Mediterranean coast, increasing the risk of wildfires, meteorological agency AEMET told Reuters last week. Reuters, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2023 Tickets There was more traffic than usual on Interstate 65 South on Saturday, with all the Alabama fans returning from Louisville to Tuscaloosa after being eliminated. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2023 The tofu browns evenly, takes less oil than usual and crisps up beautifully. Amisha Gurbani, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Mar. 2023 Boating activities at Tempe Town Lake have been temporarily closed as water levels continue to rise due to recent storms and deeper than usual snowpack. The Arizona Republic, 23 Mar. 2023 Plus, the wear layer thickness is 20 mil, which is higher than usual, and means the floor can withstand frequent use with ease. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Mar. 2023
Someone’s pouring your usual, sending you to sleep with a bustling soundtrack, or simply offering a comforting anchor in a sprawling, occasionally overwhelming metropolis. Maggie Hennessy, Chicago Tribune, 26 Oct. 2022 Ebonē Colbert ordered her usual on her weekly trip to Wendy's with her son: a kid’s meal with a plain cheeseburger for him and a Dave’s Single, a burger topped with lettuce and tomato, for herself. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 26 Aug. 2022 On the first day back, Evans ordered his usual: a single cheeseburger, fries and a Coke. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 This style runs small, so reviewers suggest ordering a size larger than your usual. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 June 2022 Dealing with long-lasting constipation, diarrhea, or poops that are different from your usual? Korin Miller, SELF, 22 Feb. 2022 Since then, my blood sugars have gone from a usual of 110 to the 140s. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 11 Feb. 2022 The brand suggests ordering a size up from your usual to ensure a perfect fit. Nicol Natale,, 27 Oct. 2021 Recently, my usual got met with a wholly unacceptable response. Matt Young, Chron, 1 Feb. 2021 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French usuel, from Late Latin usualis, from Latin usus use

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1589, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near usual

Cite this Entry

“Usual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: done, found, or used in the ordinary course of events : normal, regular
less than the usual fee
the usual route to work
 in rapid speech  ˈyüz-lē

More from Merriam-Webster on usual

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