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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

Examples of usual in a Sentence

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
All seven male candidates wore the accessory at the last debate, evoking former President Donald Trump’s usual attire. Alyssa Lukpat, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2023 There was a professional wrestling event where the women weren’t allowed to wear their usual costumes. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2023 The result is that playgrounds like Aspen have been left, if not quite deserted, then considerably less crowded than usual. Andrew McCarthy, Robb Report, 27 Sep. 2023 Right now, this perennially popular aesthetic has even more appeal than usual. Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Sep. 2023 During pregame infield practice, Robinson was taking his usual verbal abuse from the crowd. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2023 Their nonconference tournament, in Las Vegas against Saint Mary’s and either Xavier or Washington, is the following weekend — earlier than usual. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2023 At first, Youngkin offered his usual disclaimer that he’s humbled by the question but focused on the Nov. 7 legislative elections. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 Add a little extra warmth and spice to your usual brown strands. Abigail Wilt, Southern Living, 25 Sep. 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'usual.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 1 Oct. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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