use

verb
\ ˈyüz How to pronounce use (audio) \
used\ ˈyüzd How to pronounce use (audio) , in the phrase "used to" usually  ˈyüs(t) \; using\ ˈyü-​ziŋ How to pronounce use (audio) \

Definition of use

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put into action or service : avail oneself of : employ
2 : to expend or consume by putting to use often used with up
3 : stand sense 1d the house could use a coat of paint
4 : to consume or take (liquor, drugs, etc.) regularly
5 : to carry out a purpose or action by means of : utilize also : manipulate sense 2b used him selfishly
6 : to behave toward : act with regard to : treat used the prisoners cruelly
7 archaic : accustom, habituate

intransitive verb

1 used in the past with to to indicate a former fact or state we used to go more oftendidn't use to smoke
2 : to take illicit drugs regularly

use

noun
\ ˈyüs How to pronounce use (audio) \

Definition of use (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act or practice of employing something : employment, application he made good use of his spare time
b : the fact or state of being used a dish in daily use
c : a method or manner of employing or applying something gained practice in the use of the camera
2a : the privilege or benefit of using something gave him the use of her car
b : the ability or power to use something (such as a limb or faculty)
c : the legal enjoyment of property that consists in its employment, occupation, exercise, or practice
3a : a particular service or end put learning to practical use
b : the quality of being suitable for employment saving things that might be of use
c : good sense 2b it's no use arguing
d : the occasion or need to employ took only what they had use for
4 : a favorable attitude : liking had no use for modern art
5a : the benefit in law of one or more persons specifically : the benefit or profit of property established in one other than the legal possessor
b : a legal arrangement by which such benefits and profits are so established
6a(1) : habitual or customary usage
(2) : an individual habit or group custom
b : a liturgical form or observance especially : a liturgy having modifications peculiar to a local church or religious order

Choose the Right Synonym for use

Verb

use, employ, utilize mean to put into service especially to attain an end. use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument to an end. willing to use any means to achieve her ends employ suggests the use of a person or thing that is available but idle, inactive, or disengaged. looking for better ways to employ their skills utilize may suggest the discovery of a new, profitable, or practical use for something. an old wooden bucket utilized as a planter

Examples of use in a Sentence

Verb I need to use the phone when you're done. The machine is easy to use. After the accident, she could no longer use her legs. We use only organic fertilizers on our farm. They make paper using traditional Japanese methods. He used his time there well. Which accountant do you use? a new kind of light bulb that uses very little electricity Did you use all the eggs? Who used the last match? Noun Two players were suspended for illegal drug use. Doctors have found a new use for the drug. According to the dictionary, the word has two uses. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kirby said administration officials are concerned that Beijing could use the visit as an excuse to take provocative retaliatory steps, including military action such as firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan. Eileen Ng And, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2022 Alissa McFall, a speech language pathologist and orofacial myologist in Sacramento, said it can be used to analyze how a patient’s muscles work so that health professionals can then use that feedback to develop customized treatment plans. Amanda Florian, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 Choose to display their favorite song or use the space to write them a personal message. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 1 Aug. 2022 Unilever said Ben & Jerry’s had gone ahead with its own, shorter letter to the court rather than use one agreed upon by both parties previously. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 What prisons can’t do, however, at least in the United States, is shoot down drones, use a projectile or a net to capture them, or break the radio frequency link between the drone and its controller by jamming or spoofing the signals. Wired, 31 July 2022 The digestive system breaks nutrients from food into small parts for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth and cell repair, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 31 July 2022 Mackey said the state has fewer than 500 SROs covering Alabama’s approximately 1,500 schools, and that some school systems use an SRO to cover multiple schools. al, 31 July 2022 That rule also applies to the FEC freight trains that use the same tracks. Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel, 31 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shortages of certain often cheap but critical components has forced companies to shut down factories or redesign products to make use of fewer chips. Wired, 29 July 2022 In the meantime, sign up for the Ausable River Stone Massage, which makes use of heated Basalt Stones and Swedish massage techniques. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 29 July 2022 Still, there are some individuals who could probably stand to do a bit more to mitigate their carbon footprint — among them, the super-wealthy who make frequent use of carbon-spewing private jets. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 29 July 2022 The owners would like to build a warehouse on the property, and want to make use of public services from Aberdeen. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 28 July 2022 Google even explains how business owners can make use of these reviews. Liam Gravvat, USA TODAY, 28 July 2022 Time to make use of those empty cardboard boxes, by attaching them to a plain shirt for a (scary) punny costume. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 28 July 2022 Those companies are also making use of data scientists to create predictive analytics and applying them to contingency plans. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Almost every other major Internet platform makes use of some form of algorithmic recommendation. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 7

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for use

Noun

Middle English us, from Anglo-French, from Latin usus, from uti to use

Learn More About use

Time Traveler for use

Time Traveler

The first known use of use was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for use

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Use.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/use. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for use

use

verb
\ ˈyüz How to pronounce use (audio) \
used\ ˈyüzd , in the phrase "used to" usually ˈyüst \; using\ ˈyü-​ziŋ \

Kids Definition of use

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to put into action or service : make use of use tools use good English
2 used with to to show a former custom, fact, or state Grandma said winters used to be harder.
3 : to take into the body people who use drugs I don't use sugar in tea.
4 : to do something by means of Be sure to use care.
5 : to behave toward : treat He used the children kindly.
use up
: to make complete use of : exhaust We used up the supply of firewood within a week.

Other Words from use

user noun

use

noun
\ ˈyüs How to pronounce use (audio) \

Kids Definition of use (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of putting something into action or service put knowledge to use
2 : the fact or state of being put into action or service a book in daily use
3 : way of putting into action or service the proper use of tools
4 : the ability or power to put something into action or service It's a blessing to have the use of one's legs.
5 : the quality or state of being useful
6 : a reason or need to put into action or service "There's no use in blubbering," she said.— Lynne Rae Perkins, Nuts to You
7 : liking We have no use for mean people.

use

noun
\ ˈyüs How to pronounce use (audio) \

Legal Definition of use

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an arrangement in which property is granted to another with the trust and confidence that the grantor or another is entitled to the beneficial enjoyment of it — see also trust

Note: Uses originated in early English law and were the origin of the modern trust. Uses became popular in medieval England, where they were often secretly employed as a method of evading laws (as those prohibiting mortmain) and penalties (as attainder) and to defeat creditors. In response, the Statute of Uses was enacted in 1535. The purpose of the Statute was to execute the use, investing the legal ownership of the property in the cestui que use, or one entitled to the beneficial enjoyment, and abolishing the ownership of the grantee. The Statute did not have blanket application, however. Certain uses, particularly those in which the grantee was not merely a passive holder of the property, were not executed under the Statute. These uses were called trusts, and they were the basis of the modern trust.

b : the right to the utilization and benefit of property to which legal title is held by another the secret conveyance of uses in early English law broadly : the fact or right of having the benefits and profits of property
beneficial use
: the use of a cestui que use analogous to a beneficial interest in a trust : use sense 1b
resulting use
: a use that equity attributes back to a grantor when there is no person declared to receive it or no transfer of consideration
shifting use
: a use that is transferred or takes effect in derogation of some estate upon the happening of a future event
springing use
: a use that arises upon the happening of a future event and is not in derogation of any other estate
2 : the utilization of property, resources, or services
beneficial use
1 : use of property that allows an owner to derive a benefit or profit in the exercise of a basic property right the owner was entitled to just compensation when he was forced to sacrifice all beneficial use of the property — see also unnecessary hardship — compare taking
2 : use of water for a reasonable or beneficial purpose consistent with the public interest authorize the diversion of water for beneficial use
conditional use
: use of property in a zone for a particular purpose that is allowed under conditions set forth in a zoning ordinance : special exception
fair use
: a use of copyrighted material that does not constitute an infringement of the copyright provided the use is fair and reasonable and does not substantially impair the value of the work or the profits expected from it by its owner also : the privilege of making a fair use of copyrighted work

Note: Among the factors determining if a use of a copyrighted work is a fair use are these: the purpose of the use, the character of the use (as in being commercial or educational in nature), the nature of the copyrighted work, and the amount of the work used.

nonconforming use
: use of property in a manner that does not conform to the restrictions of a zoning law (as an ordinance) specifically : use in lawful existence when a restriction takes effect and so allowed to continue
public use
1 : use by or to the benefit of the public broadly : use that serves a legitimate or conceivable public purpose nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation U.S. Constitution amend. V — see also eminent domain — compare taking

Note: If a taking of property is not for public use then the consent of the owner is required.

2 : use of an invention by one who is under no limitation, restriction, or obligation of secrecy to the inventor

Note: Under federal law one is not entitled to a patent for an invention that was in public use more than a year prior to the date of application for the patent.

reasonable use
1 : a use of one's property or of water that is for a suitable and beneficial purpose and that does not lead to unreasonable interference with another's use of property or with the natural flow of water
2a : a rule whereby one may alter the natural flow of a watercourse as part of the reasonable use of property even though some harm results to another landowner
b : a rule whereby a use of the water under the surface of one's land that causes harm to an adjacent landowner is reasonable if made for a suitable purpose in connection with the overlying land

Note: This rule originated when cities began to use land in the country for wells that caused injury to adjacent farmers; the water was not for use there and so unreasonableness ultimately depended not on waste or harm but on the final destination of the water.

c : a rule that recognizes a landowner as entitled to make a reasonable use of property if it does not cause unreasonable harm to another and that may be applied to the alteration of a watercourse, the drainage of surface water, and the use of water beneath the surface
3 : utilization of a motor vehicle in a manner that is not completely foreign to its purpose insurance for accidents arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use of the car

use

transitive verb
\ ˈyüz How to pronounce use (audio) \
used; using

Legal Definition of use (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put into service : have enjoyment of

Other Words from use

user noun

More from Merriam-Webster on use

Nglish: Translation of use for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of use for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about use

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