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Noun from Middle English use, from Old French us, from Latin ūsus (“use, custom, skill, habit”), from past participle stem of ūtor (“use”). Displaced native Middle English note (“use”) (See note) from Old English notu, and Middle English nutte (“use”) from Old English nytt.
Verb 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”). Displaced 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).
use (countable and uncountable, plural uses)
- The act of using.
2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, “‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
In his submission to the UN, Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
The use of torture has been condemned by the United Nations.
- Synonyms: employment, usage, note, nait
- (uncountable) The act of consuming alcohol or narcotics.
2018, Timothy R. Jennings, The Aging Brain, →ISBN, page 93:
Heavy alcohol use (2.5 drinks per day or more) at any age is unhealthy and should be avoided.
- (uncountable, followed by "of") Usefulness, benefit.
What's the use of a law that nobody follows?
1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. , London: [Samuel Simmons], , OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: , London: Basil Montagu Pickering , 1873, OCLC 230729554:
God made two great lights, great for their use / To man.
1731, Pope, Alexander, “Epistle IV: Of the Use of Riches”, in Moral Essays; republished in The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Boston, New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1902, page 173:
'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense.
- Synonyms: benefit, good, point, usefulness, utility, note, nait
- A function; a purpose for which something may be employed.
2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, “How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.
This tool has many uses.
- Occasion or need to employ; necessity.
I have no further use for these textbooks.
- (obsolete, rare) Interest for lent money; premium paid for the use of something; usury.
1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, :
DON PEDRO. Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
BEATRICE. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for a single one:
1651, Jer Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. , 2nd edition, London: Francis Ashe , OCLC 1203220866:
Thou art more obliged to pay duty and tribute, use and principal, to him.
- (archaic) Continued or repeated practice; usage; habit.
c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, :
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, / Seem to me all the uses of this world!
- (obsolete) Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, :
O Caesar! these things are beyond all use.
- (Christianity) The special form of ritual adopted for use in any diocese.
the Sarum, or Canterbury, use; the Hereford use; the York use; the Roman use; etc.
- (forging) A slab of iron welded to the side of a forging, such as a shaft, near the end, and afterward drawn down, by hammering, so as to lengthen the forging.
act of using
- Arabic: اِسْتِعْمَال (ar) m (istiʿmāl), اِسْتِخْدَام m (istiḵdām)
- Armenian: օգտագործում (hy) (ōgtagorcum)
- Asturian: usu (ast) m
- Basque: erabilketa
- Belarusian: ужыва́нне n (užyvánnje), ўжыва́нне n (ŭžyvánnje)
- Breton: implij (br) m
- Bulgarian: изпо́лзване (bg) n (izpólzvane), употре́ба (bg) f (upotréba)
- Catalan: ús (ca) m
- Cebuano: gamit
- Cantonese: 用 (jung6), 使用 (si2 jung6)
- Dungan: йүн (yün), сыйүн (sɨyün)
- Mandarin: 用 (zh) (yòng), 使用 (zh) (shǐyòng), 利用 (zh) (lìyòng)
- Czech: použití (cs) n
- Dutch: gebruik (nl) n
- Estonian: kasutama
- Finnish: käyttö (fi)
- French: usage (fr) m, emploi (fr) m, utilisation (fr) f
- Galician: uso (gl) m
- Georgian: სარგებლობა (sargebloba), გამოყენება (gamoq̇eneba), ხმარება (xmareba)
- German: Benutzung (de) f, Anwendung (de) f, Gebrauch (de) m
- Greek: χρήση (el) f (chrísi)
- Ancient: χρῆσις f (khrêsis)
- Hebrew: שימוש \ שִׁמּוּשׁ (he) m (shimúsh)
- Higaonon: gamit
- Hungarian: használat (hu), felhasználás (hu), alkalmazás (hu)
- Italian: uso (it) m
- Japanese: 使用 (ja) (shiyō), 利用 (ja) (riyō)
- Korean: 사용 (ko) (sayong)
- Central Kurdish: بەکارھێنان (ku) (bekarhênan)
- Northern Kurdish: bi kar anîn (ku)
- Latin: ūsus (la) m, usurpatio f
- Latvian: lietojums m
- Livonian: kȭlbatõ
- Macedonian: употреба f (upotreba)
- Malay: kegunaan
- Malayalam: ഉപയോഗം (ml) (upayōgaṃ)
- Bokmål: bruk (no) m or n, anvendelse (no) m
- Nynorsk: bruk m or n
- Old English: nytt f
- Persian: کاربرد (fa) (kârbord)
- Polish: użycie (pl) n, stosowanie (pl) n, użytek (pl) m
- Portuguese: uso (pt) m
- Gurmukhi: ਵਰਤੋਂ m (vartõ)
- Shahmukhi: وَرْتوْں m (vartoṉ)
- Romanian: folosire (ro) f, uz (ro) f, întrebuințare (ro) f
- Romansch: niz m
- Russian: употребле́ние (ru) n (upotreblénije), примене́ние (ru) n (primenénije), испо́льзование (ru) n (ispólʹzovanije)
- Scots: uiss, uise
- Cyrillic: у̏потреба f, при̏мена f
- Roman: ȕpotreba (sh) f, prȉmena (sh) f
- Slovak: použitie n
- Slovene: uporaba (sl) f, raba (sl) f
- Somali: isticmaal
- Spanish: uso (es) m
- Swahili: matumizi (sw) 6
- Swedish: användning (sv) c, bruk (sv) n, nyttjande (sv) n
- Turkish: kullanma (tr), kullanım (tr), kullanış (tr)
- Ukrainian: вжива́ння n (vžyvánnja)
- Urdu: اِسْتِعْمال m (istiʿmāl)
- Vietnamese: sự dùng
- Volapük: geb (vo)
- Yiddish: ניץ m (nits)
- Zazaki: kar kerdış
- Malay: kegunaan
- Malayalam: ഉപയോഗം (ml) (upayōgaṃ), ഉപകാരം (ml) (upakāraṃ)
- Norwegian: nytte (no) m
- Persian: فایده (fa) (fâyede), کاربرد (fa) (kârbord), استفادن (fa)
- Polish: użytek (pl) m, użyteczność (pl) f
- Portuguese: uso (pt) m, utilidade (pt) f
- Romanian: utilitate (ro) f, folosință (ro) f
- Russian: по́льза (ru) n (pólʹza), прок (ru) m (prok)
- Scots: uiss
- Scottish Gaelic: math m
- Shor: туза (tuza)
- Spanish: utilidad (es) f
- Swedish: mening (sv) c, syfte (sv) n, nytta (sv)
- Turkish: fayda (tr), yarar (tr)
- Urdu: فائدہ m (fā'idah)
- Vietnamese: ích (vi)
use (third-person singular simple present uses, present participle using, simple past and past participle used)
- To utilize or employ.
- (transitive) To employ; to apply; to utilize.
Use this knife to slice the bread.
We can use this mathematical formula to solve the problem.
2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
Plant breeding is always a numbers game. The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, and individual plants are highly heterozygous and do not breed true. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better.
- (transitive, often with up) To expend; to consume by employing.
I used the money they allotted me.
We should use up most of the fuel.
She used all the time allotted to complete the test.
- (transitive) To exploit.
You never cared about me; you just used me!
2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, in American Scientist:
Oxygen levels on Earth skyrocketed 2.4 billion years ago, when cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis: the ability to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and waste oxygen using solar energy.
- (transitive) To consume (alcohol, drugs, etc), especially regularly.
- He uses cocaine. I have never used drugs.
- (intransitive) To consume a previously specified substance, especially a drug to which one is addicted.
Richard began experimenting with cocaine last year; now he uses almost every day.
- (transitive, with auxiliary "could") To benefit from; to be able to employ or stand.
I could use a drink. My car could use a new coat of paint.
- To accustom; to habituate. (Now common only in participial form. Uses the same pronunciation as the noun; see usage notes.)
soldiers who are used to hardships and danger (still common)
to use the soldiers to hardships and danger (now rare)
1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. , London: [Samuel Simmons], , OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: , London: Basil Montagu Pickering , 1873, OCLC 230729554:
Thou with thy compeers, / Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels.
- (reflexive, obsolete, with "to") To become accustomed, to accustom oneself.
- 1714, Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, London: T. Ostell, 1806, Sixth Dialogue, p. 466,
- It is not without some difficulty, that a man born in society can form an idea of such savages, and their condition; and unless he has used himself to abstract thinking, he can hardly represent to himself such a state of simplicity, in which man can have so few desires, and no appetites roving beyond the immediate call of untaught nature
- 1742, Samuel Richardson, Pamela, London: S. Richardson, 4th edition, Volume 3, Letter 12, p. 53,
- So that reading constantly, and thus using yourself to write, and enjoying besides the Benefit of a good Memory, every thing you heard or read, became your own
- 1769, John Leland, Discourses on Various Subjects, London: W. Johnston and J. Dodsley, Volume 1, Discourse 16, p. 311,
- we must be constant and faithful to our Words and Promises, and use ourselves to be so even in smaller Matters
- 1876, George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, Book 3, Chapter 24,
- The family troubles, she thought, were easier for every one than for her—even for poor dear mamma, because she had always used herself to not enjoying.
- (transitive, with gender pronouns as object) To suggest, request, demand or expect that other people use a specific set of gender pronouns when referring to the subject.
I use they/them pronouns.
- (intransitive, now rare, literary, except in past tense) To habitually do; to be wont to do. (Now chiefly in past-tense forms; see used to.)
1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 48, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes , book I, London: Val Simmes for Edward Blount , OCLC 946730821:
Peter Pol, doctor in divinitie used to sit upon his mule, who as Monstrelet reporteth, was wont to ride up and downe the streets of Paris, ever sitting sideling, as women use.
1693, Sir Norman Knatchbull, Annotations upon some difficult texts in all the books of the New Testament:
For in the Rites of funeration they did use to anoint the dead body, with Aromatick Spices and Oyntments, before they buried them.
- 1764, Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, II:
- I do not use to let my wife be acquainted with the secret affairs of my state; they are not within a woman's province.
I used to get things done.
- (dated) To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat.
to use an animal cruelly
c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, ”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (First Folio), London: Isaac Iaggard, and Ed Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, :
See who it is: and, now the battle’s ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, ”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: J. M for John Starkey , OCLC 228732398:
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men / Lov’d, honour’d, fear’d me, thou alone could hate me / Thy Husband, slight me, sell me, forgo me; / How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby / Deceivable
1712 (date written), Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. , London: J Tonson, , published 1713, OCLC 79426475, Act V, scene i, page 6:
Cato has used me Ill: He has refused / His Daughter Marcia to my ardent Vows.
1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A Millar , OCLC 928184292, book 3:
“I hope,” said Jones, “you don’t intend to leave me in this condition.” “Indeed but I shall,” said the other. “Then,” said Jones, “you have used me rascally, and I will not pay you a farthing.”
- 1884, Margaret Oliphant, Old Lady Mary
- "Oh, how dare you, or any one, to speak of her so! She used me as if I had been her dearest child. She was more kind to me than a mother. There is no one in the world like her!" Mary cried.
- (reflexive, obsolete) To behave, act, comport oneself.
- 1551, Thomas More, Utopia, London: B. Alsop & T. Fawcet, 1639, “Of Bond-men, Sicke persons, Wedlocke, and divers other matters,” page 231,
- They live together lovingly: For no Magistrate is either haughty or fearefull. Fathers they be called, and like fathers they use themselves.
- c. 1558, George Cavendish, The Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, cardinal, edited by Grace H. M. Simpson, London: R. & T. Washbourne, 1901, page 57,
- I pray to God that this may be a sufficient admonition unto thee to use thyself more wisely hereafter, for assure thyself that if thou dost not amend thy prodigality, thou wilt be the last Earl of our house.
- When meaning "accustom, habituate" or "habitually do (or employ)", the verb use is pronounced /juːs/ (like the noun use); these senses and hence this pronunciation is now found chiefly in the past tense or as a past participle (/juːst/), or in the (past) negative form did not use (as in I did not use to like her or the dragoons did not use to the Russian cold). In all other senses, it is pronounced /juːz/ (past tense/participle /juːzd/).
- See also the usage notes at used to (and use to) for more, especially on the use of this sense in interrogatives, negatives, and the past tense.
- Afrikaans: gebruik (af)
- Ainu: エイワンケ (eywanke)
- Aklanon: gamit
- Albanian: përdor (sq)
- Arabic: اِسْتَعْمَلَ (ar) (istaʿmala), اِسْتَخْدَمَ (ar) (istaḵdama)
- Egyptian Arabic: استعمل (istaʿmil), استخدم (istaḵdim)
- Armenian: օգտագործել (hy) (ōgtagorcel)
- Aromanian: felisescu
- Asturian: usar, utilizar
- Azerbaijani: işlətmək (az), istifadə etmək
- Basque: erabili
- Belarusian: выкарысто́ўваць impf (vykarystóŭvacʹ), вы́карыстаць pf (výkarystacʹ); скарысто́ўваць impf (skarystóŭvacʹ), скарыста́ць pf (skarystácʹ); ужыва́ць impf (užyvácʹ), ўжыва́ць impf (ŭžyvácʹ), ужы́ць pf (užýcʹ), ўжыць pf (ŭžycʹ)
- Bengali: ব্যবহার করা (bêbôhar kôra)
- Bulgarian: изпо́лзвам (bg) (izpólzvam), употребя́вам (bg) (upotrebjávam)
- Burmese: အသုံးပြု (my) (a.sum:pru.)
- Catalan: fer servir, usar (ca), utilitzar (ca), emprar (ca)
- Cantonese: 用 (jung6), 使用 (si2 jung6)
- Dungan: йүн (yün), сыйүн (sɨyün)
- Mandarin: 用 (zh) (yòng), 使用 (zh) (shǐyòng), 應用 (zh), 应用 (zh) (yìngyòng)
- Czech: použít (cs), používat (cs) impf
- Danish: bruge (da)
- Dutch: gebruiken (nl), aanwenden (nl)
- Esperanto: uzi (eo)
- Estonian: kasutama
- Finnish: käyttää (fi)
- French: utiliser (fr), se servir (de) (fr)
- Galician: utilizar (gl), usar (gl)
- Georgian: გამოყენება (gamoq̇eneba), მოხმარება (moxmareba)
- German: benutzen (de), verwenden (de), gebrauchen (de)
- Greek: χρησιμοποιώ (el) (chrisimopoió)
- Ancient: χράομαι (khráomai)
- Guaraní: puru
- Haitian Creole: itilize
- Hebrew: הִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ (he) (hishtamésh)
- Hindi: इस्तेमाल करना (istemāl karnā)
- Hungarian: használ (hu), igénybe vesz, alkalmaz (hu), él (hu)
- Hunsrik: benutze
- Icelandic: nota (is)
- Ido: uzar (io)
- Interlingua: usar
- Irish: úsáid
- Italian: usare (it), utilizzare (it)
- Japanese: 用いる (ja) (もちいる, mochiiru), 使う (ja) (つかう, tsukau), 使用する (しようする, shiyō-suru)
- Kazakh: қолдану (kk) (qoldanu), пайдалану (paidalanu)
- Khmer: ប្រើប្រាស់ (praə prah)
- Korean: 쓰다 (ko) (sseuda), 사용(使用)하다 (ko) (sayonghada)
- Kyrgyz: пайдалануу (ky) (paydalanuu)
- Lao: ໃຊ້ (sai)
- Latin: ūtor (la)
- Latvian: lietot, izmantot
- Lithuanian: vartoti (lt)
- Low German:
- German Low German: gebruken
- Macedonian: употребува impf (upotrebuva), употреби pf (upotrebi), користи (koristi)
- Malay: guna (ms)
- Malayalam: ഉപയോഗിക്കുക (ml) (upayōgikkuka)
- Maori: whakamahi
- Mongolian: хэрэглэх (mn) (heregleh), ашиглах (mn) (ashiglah)
- Mòcheno: prauchen
- Navajo: choyoołʼįįh
- Neapolitan: usà
- Ngazidja Comorian: urumia
- Northern Sami: geavahit
- Norwegian: bruke (no)
- Occitan: usar (oc), emplegar (oc), utilizar (oc)
- Old English: brūcan
- Old Saxon: niotan, brūkan
- Persian: استفاده کردن (fa) (estefâde kardan), به کار بردن (be kâr bordan)
- Polish: używać (pl) impf, posługiwać się (pl), stosować (pl)
- Portuguese: usar (pt), utilizar (pt)
- Romanian: utiliza (ro), folosi (ro)
- Romansch: duvrar, applitgar
- Russian: испо́льзовать (ru) impf (ispólʹzovatʹ), употребля́ть (ru) impf (upotrebljátʹ), применя́ть (ru) impf (primenjátʹ)
- Sanskrit: भुनक्ति (sa) (bhunakti)
- Sardinian: imperàre
- Scots: bruik, uise
- Scottish Gaelic: dèan feum de, cleachd, iomair
- Cyrillic: ко̀ристити
- Roman: kòristiti (sh)
- Sinhalese: පාවිච්චි කරනවා (pāwicci karanawā)
- Slovak: použiť, používať impf
- Slovene: uporabiti
- Lower Sorbian: wužyś pf, wužywaś impf
- Upper Sorbian: wužić pf, wužiwać impf
- Spanish: usar (es), utilizar (es)
- Swahili: tumia
- Swedish: använda (sv), bruka (sv), nyttja (sv)
- Tajik: истифода бурдан (istifoda burdan), истифода кардан (istifoda kardan)
- Thai: ใช้ (th) (chái), นำมาใช้ (nam maa chái)
- Tocharian B: yaukk-
- Turkish: kullanmak (tr)
- Turkmen: ulanmak
- Tuvan: ажыглаар (ajıglaar)
- Ukrainian: ужива́ти (uk) impf (užyváty), вжива́ти (uk) impf (vžyváty), ужи́ти pf (užýty), вжи́ти pf (vžýty); використо́вувати impf (vykorystóvuvaty), ви́користати pf (výkorystaty)
- Urdu: استعمال کرنا (iste'māl karnā)
- Uzbek: ishlatmoq (uz)
- Vietnamese: dùng (vi), xài (vi), sử dụng (vi)
- Volapük: gebön (vo)
- Walloon: si siervi (wa) (di)
- West Frisian: brûke (fy)
- Yiddish: ניצן (nitsn), באַניצן (banitsn)
- Zazaki: kar kerden
to exhaust the supply of, to consume
Contraction of us + hii.
- 1903, Robert Walser, Der Teich:
- Aber i muess pressiere, daß i bald fertig wirde. Nächär chani use go spiele.
- But I need to hurry so I can finish soon. Then I can go out and play.
- first/third-person singular present subjunctive of usar
From u- + -se.
- I do not
- I am not
- I was not
- inflection of user:
- first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
- second-person singular imperative
- feminine plural of uso
- vocative masculine singular of ūsus
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)
use m (genitive singular use, plural useyn)
- (finance) interest; usury
- first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of usar
- third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of usar
- third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of usar
- third-person singular (você) negative imperative of usar
- inflection of usar:
- first-person singular present subjunctive
- third-person singular present subjunctive
- third-person singular imperative
- (transitive) to pour out
- (transitive) to throw away
- Rika Hayami-Allen (2001) A descriptive study of the language of Ternate, the northern Moluccas, Indonesia, University of Pittsburgh