Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To put into service or apply for a purpose; employ.
  • transitive v. To avail oneself of; practice: use caution.
  • transitive v. To conduct oneself toward; treat or handle: "the peace offering of a man who once used you unkindly” ( Laurence Sterne).
  • transitive v. To seek or achieve an end by means of; exploit: used their highly placed friends to gain access to the president; felt he was being used by seekers of favor.
  • transitive v. To take or consume; partake of: She rarely used alcohol.
  • intransitive v. Used in the past tense followed by to in order to indicate a former state, habitual practice, or custom: Mail service used to be faster.
  • n. The act of using; the application or employment of something for a purpose: with the use of a calculator; skilled in the use of the bow and arrow.
  • n. The condition or fact of being used: a chair in regular use.
  • n. The manner of using; usage: learned the proper use of power tools.
  • n. The permission, privilege, or benefit of using something: gave us the use of their summerhouse.
  • n. The power or ability to use something: lost the use of one arm.
  • n. The need or occasion to use or employ: have no use for these old clothes.
  • n. The quality of being suitable or adaptable to an end; usefulness: tried to be of use in the kitchen.
  • n. A purpose for which something is used: a tool with several uses; a pretty bowl, but of what use is it?
  • n. Gain or advantage; good: There's no use in discussing it. What's the use?
  • n. Accustomed or usual procedure or practice.
  • n. Law Enjoyment of property, as by occupying or exercising it.
  • n. Law The benefit or profit of lands and tenements of which the legal title and possession are vested in another.
  • n. Law The arrangement establishing the equitable right to such benefits and profits.
  • n. A liturgical form practiced in a particular church, ecclesiastical district, or community.
  • n. Obsolete Usual occurrence or experience.
  • use up To consume completely: used up all our money.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of using.
  • n. Usefulness, benefit.
  • n. A function; a purpose for which something may be employed.
  • n. (rare) Interest for lent money; premium paid for the use of something; usury.
  • v. To accustom; to habituate.
  • v. To employ; to apply; to utilize.
  • v. To exhaust the supply of; to consume by employing
  • v. To exploit.
  • v. To habitually do; to be wont to do.
  • v. To habitually do. See used to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of employing anything, or of applying it to one's service; the state of being so employed or applied; application; employment; conversion to some purpose.
  • n. Occasion or need to employ; necessity.
  • n. Yielding of service; advantage derived; capability of being used; usefulness; utility.
  • n. Continued or repeated practice; customary employment; usage; custom; manner; habit.
  • n. Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
  • n. The special form of ritual adopted for use in any diocese.
  • n. The premium paid for the possession and employment of borrowed money; interest; usury.
  • n. The benefit or profit of lands and tenements. Use imports a trust and confidence reposed in a man for the holding of lands. He to whose use or benefit the trust is intended shall enjoy the profits. An estate is granted and limited to A for the use of B.
  • n. A stab of iron welded to the side of a forging, as a shaft, near the end, and afterward drawn down, by hammering, so as to lengthen the forging.
  • intransitive v. To be wont or accustomed; to be in the habit or practice; ; -- now disused in the present tense, perhaps because of the similarity in sound, between “use to,” and “used to.”
  • intransitive v. To be accustomed to go; to frequent; to inhabit; to dwell; -- sometimes followed by of.
  • transitive v. To make use of; to convert to one's service; to avail one's self of; to employ; to put a purpose
  • transitive v. To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat.
  • transitive v. To practice customarily; to make a practice of.
  • transitive v. To accustom; to habituate; to render familiar by practice; to inure; -- employed chiefly in the passive participle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To employ for the attainment of some purpose or end; avail one's self of.
  • To employ; expend; consume; as, to use flour for food; to use water for irrigation.
  • To practise or employ, in a general way; do, exercise, etc.
  • To practise customarily; make a practice of.
  • To act or behave toward; treat; as, to use one well or ill.
  • To accustom; habituate; render familiar by practice; inure: common in the past participle: as, soldiers used to hardships.
  • To frequent; visit often or habitually.
  • To comport; behave; demean: used reflexively.
  • To have sexual intercourse with.
  • To exhaust, as one's means or strength; wear out; leave no force or capacity in; as, the man is completely used up.
  • To be accustomed; practise customarily; be in the habit; as, he used to go there regularly.
  • To be wont; be customary; customarily be, do, or effect something specified.
  • To be accustomed to go; linger or stay habitually; dwell.
  • To communicate; receive the eucharist.
  • n. plural Rough iron forgings sold to be subsequently worked down into finished shapes in the forge, or heating furnace, by hammer or press. They are used also for porter-bars, or to build up larger forgings not made from an ingot.
  • n. The act of employing anything, or the state of being employed; employment; application; conversion to a purpose, especially a profitable purpose.
  • n. That property of a thing (or character of a person) which renders it suitable for a purpose; adaptability to the attainment of an end; usefulness; availability; utility; serviceableness; service; convenience; help; profit: as, a thing of no use.
  • n. Need for employing; occasion to employ; necessity; exigency; need.
  • n. Continued or repeated practice or employment; custom; wont; usage; habit.
  • n. Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
  • n. Interest for money; usury. [Obsolete or archaic.]
  • n. That part of a sermon devoted to a practical application of the doctrine expounded.
  • n. In liturgics, the distinctive ritual and liturgical forms and observances, collectively and singly, of a particular church, diocese, group of dioceses, or community; as, Sarum use; Aberdeen use; Anglican use; Roman use.
  • n. To have no liking for.
  • n. In law, the benefit or profit (with power to direct disposal) of property—technically of lands and tenements—in the possession of another who simply holds them for the beneficiary; the equitable ownership of lands the legal title to which is in another.
  • n. Charitable uses, Charitable Uses Act.
  • n. In customary practice or observance.
  • n. a use, confidence, or trust in any hereditaments should be deemed and adjudged in lawful seizin, estate, and possession of the same estate that he had in use—that is, that he, instead of the nominal grantee or trustee, should become the full legal owner. This principle has been adopted by provisions, known by the same title, in the legislation of most of the United States.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage
  • v. avail oneself to
  • v. habitually do something (use only in the past tense)
  • n. a particular service
  • v. use up, consume fully
  • n. what something is used for
  • v. take or consume (regularly or habitually)
  • n. the act of using
  • n. exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
  • n. (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
  • v. put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  • n. (economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing
  • n. (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property

Etymologies

Middle English usen, from Old French user, from Vulgar Latin *ūsāre, frequentative of Latin ūtī. N., Middle English, from Old French us, from Latin ūsus, from past participle of ūtī.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English use, from Old French us, from Latin usus ("use, custom, skill, habit"), from past participle stem of uti ("use"). Replaced native Middle English note ("use") (See note) from Old English notu, and Middle English nutte ("use") from Old English nytt. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English usen, from Old French user ("use, employ, practice"), from Vulgar Latin *usare (“use”), frequentative form of past participle stem of Latin uti ("to use"). Replaced native Middle English noten, nutten ("to use") (from Old English notian, nēotan, nyttian) and Middle English brouken, bruken ("to use, enjoy") (from Old English brūcan). (Wiktionary)

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