verb (used with object), used, us·ing.

  1. to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of: to use a knife.
  2. to avail oneself of; apply to one’s own purposes: to use the facilities.
  3. to expend or consume in use: We have used the money provided.
  4. to treat or behave toward: He did not use his employees with much consideration.
  5. to take unfair advantage of; exploit: to use people to gain one’s own ends.
  6. to drink, smoke, or ingest habitually: to use drugs.
  7. to habituate or accustom.
  8. Archaic. to practice habitually or customarily; make a practice of.

verb (used without object), used, us·ing.

  1. to be accustomed or customarily found (used with an infinitive expressed or understood, and, except in archaic use, now only in the past): He used to go every day.
  2. Archaic. to resort, stay, or dwell customarily.


  1. the act of employing, using, or putting into service: the use of tools.
  2. the state of being employed or used.
  3. an instance or way of employing or using something: proper use of the tool; the painter’s use of color.
  4. a way of being employed or used; a purpose for which something is used: He was of temporary use. The instrument has different uses.
  5. the power, right, or privilege of employing or using something: to lose the use of the right eye; to be denied the use of a library card.
  6. service or advantage in or for being employed or used; utility or usefulness: of no practical use.
  7. help; profit; resulting good: What’s the use of pursuing the matter?
  8. occasion or need, as for something to be employed or used: Would you have any use for another calendar?
  9. continued, habitual, or customary employment or practice; custom: to follow the prevailing use of such occasions.
  10. Law.
    1. the enjoyment of property, as by the employment, occupation, or exercise of it.
    2. the benefit or profit of lands and tenements in the possession of another who simply holds them for the beneficiary.
    3. the equitable ownership of land to which the legal title is in another’s name.
  11. Liturgy. the distinctive form of ritual or of any liturgical observance used in a particular church, diocese, community, etc.
  12. usual or customary experience.

Verb Phrases

  1. use up,
    1. to consume entirely.
    2. to exhaust of vigor or usefulness; finish: By the end of the war he felt used up and sick of life.
  1. have no use for,
    1. to have no occasion or need for: She appears to have no use for the city.
    2. to refuse to tolerate; discount: He had no use for his brother.
    3. to have a distaste for; dislike: He has no use for dictators.
  2. make use of, to use for one’s own purposes; employ: Charitable organizations will make use of your old furniture and clothing.
  3. of no use, of no advantage or help: It’s of no use to look for that missing earring. It’s no use asking her to go.Also no use.
  4. put to use, to apply; employ to advantage: What a shame that no one has put that old deserted mansion to use!

verb (riːˈjuːz) (tr)

  1. to use again

noun (riːˈjuːs)

  1. the act or process of using again

verb (juːz) (tr)

  1. to put into service or action; employ for a given purposeto use a spoon to stir with
  2. to make a practice or habit of employing; exercisehe uses his brain
  3. to behave towardsto use a friend well
  4. to behave towards in a particular way for one’s own endshe uses people
  5. to consume, expend, or exhaustthe engine uses very little oil
  6. mainly US and Canadian to partake of (alcoholic drink, drugs, etc) or smoke (tobacco, marijuana, etc)

noun (juːs)

  1. the act of using or the state of being usedthe carpet wore out through constant use
  2. the ability, right, or permission to use
  3. the occasion to use; needI have no use for this paper
  4. an instance or manner of using
  5. usefulness; advantageit is of no use to complain
  6. custom; practice; habitlong use has inured him to it
  7. the purpose for which something is used; end
  8. Christianity a distinctive form of liturgical or ritual observance, esp one that is traditional in a Church or group of Churches
  9. the enjoyment of property, land, etc, by occupation or by deriving revenue or other benefit from it
  10. law the beneficial enjoyment of property the legal title to which is held by another person as trustee
  11. law an archaic word for trust (def. 7)
  12. philosophy logic linguistics the occurrence of an expression in such a context that it performs its own linguistic function rather than being itself referred to. In ” Fidorefers to Fido, the name Fido is ‘used’ only on the second occurrence, first being mentionedCompare mention (def. 7) See also material mode
  13. have no use for
    1. to have no need of
    2. to have a contemptuous dislike for
  14. make use of
    1. to employ; use
    2. to exploit (a person)

also re-use, 1843, from re- + use (v.). Related: Reused; reusing.


1850, from re- + use (n.).


early 13c., from Old French us, from Latin usus “use, custom, skill, habit,” from past participle stem of uti (see use (v.)).


mid-13c., from Old French user “use, employ, practice,” from Vulgar Latin *usare “use,” frequentative form of past participle stem of Latin uti “to use,” in Old Latin oeti “use, employ, exercise, perform,” of unknown origin. Related: Used; using. Replaced Old English brucan (see brook (v.)).

In addition to the idioms beginning with use

  • used to
  • use one’s head
  • use up

also see:

  • have no use for
  • make use of
  • no use
  • put to good use

Also see underused.

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