use

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English

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Etymology

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, Middle English nutte (use) from Old English nytt, Old English fricu, and Old English sidu.

Verb from Middle English usen, from Old French user (use, employ, practice), from Medieval 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).

Pronunciation

Noun
Verb

Noun

use (countable and uncountable, plural uses)

  1. The act of using.
    Synonyms: employment, usage, note, nait
    The use of torture has been condemned by the United Nations.
    • 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, [Christof] 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.
  2. (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.
  3. (uncountable, followed by "of") Usefulness, benefit.
    Synonyms: benefit, good, point, usefulness, utility, note, nait
    What's the use of a law that nobody follows?
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. , London: [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker ; nd by Robert Boulter ; nd Matthias Walker, , →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: , London: Basil Montagu Pickering , 1873, →OCLC:
      God made two great lights, great for their use / To man.
    • 1731, Alexander Pope, “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.
  4. A function; a purpose for which something may be employed.
    This tool has many uses.
    • 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.
  5. Occasion or need to employ; necessity.
    I have no further use for these textbooks.
  6. (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, :
      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[emy] Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. , 2nd edition, London: Francis Ashe , →OCLC:
      Thou art more obliged to pay duty and tribute, use and principal, to him.
  7. (archaic) Continued or repeated practice; usage; habit.
  8. (obsolete) Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
  9. (Christianity) A special form of a rite adopted for use in a particular context, often a diocese.
    the Sarum, or Canterbury, use; the York use; the Ordinariate use
  10. (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.

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

use (third-person singular simple present uses, present participle using, simple past and past participle used)

  1. To utilize or employ.
    1. (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.
    2. (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.
    3. (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.
    4. (transitive) To consume (alcohol, drugs, etc), especially regularly.
      He uses cocaine. I have never used drugs.
    5. (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.
    6. (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.
    7. (transitive) To go by; to make use of and suggest or request that other people employ when referring to the subject.
      • 1999, Jacqueline Van Nostrand, Descendants of Francois Rassat Born France, 1793, page 167:
        James married Sarah Gould (Sally) HUBBARD September 10, 1977, in Ludington, Mason County, Michigan. She uses the name Sally. []
      • 2023, Brianna I. Wiens, Michelle MacArthur, Shana MacDonald, Milena Radzikowska, Stories of Feminist Protest and Resistance: Digital Performative Assemblies, Rowman & Littlefield, →ISBN, page 92:
        The "Older" [butch] group is maintained by three administrators who all use she/her pronouns and two moderators, one of whom uses they'them pronouns while the other uses she/her.
  2. 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], and are to be sold by Peter Parker ; nd by Robert Boulter ; nd Matthias Walker, , →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: , London: Basil Montagu Pickering , 1873, →OCLC:
      Thou with thy compeers, / Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels.
    1. (reflexive, obsolete, with "to") To accustom oneself.
      • 1714, Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, London: T. Ostell, published 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
      • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair , London: Bradbury and Evans , published 1848, →OCLC:
        We are not long in using ourselves to changes in life.
      • 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.
  3. (intransitive, archaic or 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:
      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.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible,  (King James Version), London: Robert Barker, , →OCLC, 1 Peter 4:9:
      Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
    • 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, section 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.
  4. (dated) To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat.
    to use an animal cruelly
    • c. 1591–1592 (date written), 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, :
      See who it is: and, now the battle’s ended,
      If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible,  (King James Version), London: Robert Barker, , →OCLC, Luke 6:28:
      Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
    • 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:
      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), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. , London: J Tonson, , published 1713, →OCLC, Act V, scene i, page 6:
      Cato has used me Ill: He has refused / His Daughter Marcia to my ardent Vows.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Emperor of Lilliput, Attended by Several of the Nobility, Come to See the Author in His Confinement. ”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. , volume I, London: Benj Motte, , →OCLC, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput), page 43:
      This is an exact Inventory of what we found about the Body of the Man-Mountain, who uſed us with great Civility, and due Reſpect to your Majefty's Commiſſion.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A Millar, , →OCLC, 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.
  5. (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.

Usage notes

  • 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.

Conjugation

Synonyms

Derived terms

Descendants

  • Kashubian: juzowac (Canada, United States)
  • Russian: ю́зать (júzatʹ)

Translations

References

Anagrams

Alemannic German

Alternative forms

Etymology

Contraction of us + hii.

Pronunciation

Adverb

use

  1. out
    • 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.

Asturian

Verb

use

  1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive of usar

Chuukese

Etymology

From u- +‎ -se.

Pronoun

use

  1. I do not

Adjective

use

  1. I am not
  2. I was not
Present and past tense Negative tense Future Negative future Distant future Negative determinate
Singular First person ua use upwe usap upwap ute
Second person ka, ke kose, kese kopwe, kepwe kosap, kesap kopwap, kepwap kote, kete
Third person a ese epwe esap epwap ete
Plural First person aua (exclusive)
sia (inclusive)
ause (exclusive)
sise (inclusive)
aupwe (exclusive)
sipwe (inclusive)
ausap (exclusive)
sisap (inclusive)
aupwap (exclusive)
sipwap (inclusive)
aute (exclusive)
site (inclusive)
Second person oua ouse oupwe ousap oupwap oute
Third person ra, re rese repwe resap repwap rete


French

Pronunciation

Verb

use

  1. inflection of user:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Anagrams

Galician

Verb

use

  1. inflection of usar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Italian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈu.ze/
  • Rhymes: -uze
  • Hyphenation: ù‧se

Adjective

use

  1. feminine plural of uso

Anagrams

Latin

Pronunciation

Participle

ūse

  1. vocative masculine singular of ūsus

Manx

Etymology

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun

use m (genitive singular use, plural useyn)

  1. (finance) interest; usury

Derived terms

Portuguese

Pronunciation

 

  • Hyphenation: u‧se

Verb

use

  1. inflection of usar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Spanish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈuse/
  • Rhymes: -use
  • Syllabification: u‧se

Verb

use

  1. inflection of usar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

Ternate

Pronunciation

Verb

use

  1. (transitive) to pour out
  2. (transitive) to throw away

Conjugation

Conjugation of use
Singular Plural
Inclusive Exclusive
1st touse fouse miuse
2nd nouse niuse
3rd Masculine ouse iuse, youse
Feminine mouse
Neuter iuse
- archaic

References

  • Rika Hayami-Allen (2001) A descriptive study of the language of Ternate, the northern Moluccas, Indonesia, University of Pittsburgh