from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. accustomed to, tolerant or accepting of.
  • adv. Formerly, once, and habitually or repeatedly, but possibly no longer.

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

  • adj. in the habit


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From used, past participle of use ("to perform habitually") + to

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From used, past of use ("perform habitually") + to ("infinitive marker")


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  • Used to in the sense of being accustomed to is very different from its other meaning as past tense of the verb to use. It is so different that I hear it as 'ust to' in the former meaning and as 'used to' in the latter. Is 'ust' worthy of being designated a word by itself?

    January 1, 2012

  • Around 1800 you will find this in transitional forms: so-and-so uses to do something, is used to (= is accustomed to). Their usage is to do it. I don't know when the two words fused and it became pronounced with the st.

    August 23, 2009

  • This "word" both fascinates and bothers me. In the way, I guess, that every word repeated a million times over sounds weird...but how is it, that "used" + infinitive came to mean the same thing as "formerly" + past tense? I can't figure it out at all. "It had been my use to ...." I guess?

    Similar musings, though the connection is clearer, on supposed to meaning "it is a good idea" or "humanity generally does it this way".

    These words are used so frequently as idiom that I want to take them out of the language and replace them with yoosta and sposta. That way the obvious etymology won't jump out of everybody's sentences and bother me. Sometimes I use "supposed to" in a way that makes sense with current definitions of "suppose", just because it makes me feel good, but I can't do it with "used to".

    August 22, 2009