Definition of use in English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /juːz/
  • 1Take, hold, or deploy (something) as a means of accomplishing or achieving something; employ.

    ‘she used her key to open the front door’
    ‘the poem uses simple language’
    • ‘This way, quality and output quantity can still be achieved using manual techniques.’
    • ‘It is mainly accomplished by using text in the same color as the background color of the page.’
    • ‘Indeed, this train will accomplish its journey using satellite navigation technology.’
    • ‘He said there was no justification in using the land for employment as it would simply replace jobs in the city centre.’
    • ‘In reviewing past research, the current paper uses the terms employed by the original authors.’
    • ‘The technology employed uses a wireless network with the signal hopping from building to building.’
    • ‘In that respect, we have come from a culture that has never had to use the law to achieve integrity.’
    • ‘This is achieved by using a layer of coloured glass in the inside and etching over the outer frosted surface.’
    • ‘Limiting the grass intake can be accomplished by using a grazing mask or muzzle or by restricting the area available for grazing.’
    • ‘While each robot uses different technology to employ similar ends, all are maintenance free.’
    • ‘I was able to sneak away for a little while to watch a team of men assembling an ox-plow and yoke using simple hand tools.’
    • ‘Elegantly curved walls can be achieved using wedge shaped blocks with an internal curve.’
    • ‘Although the same men are employed using the same tools, the business is different.’
    • ‘Brown works with a tiny brush and uses it to achieve minute detail in the manner of Salvador Dali.’
    • ‘As an employer who uses the English language as a key tool, it is somewhat irritating to have to give basic lessons in English grammar to school leavers.’
    • ‘How could it use economic incentives to achieve this cut, and what might be the outcomes?’
    • ‘The association has employed a gardener who uses water from the park's borewell.’
    • ‘He had only a minimal understanding of my language apparently and so we would have to use simple terms.’
    • ‘Write a poem using key words in the story and read it out to others.’
    • ‘They would fly a few feet over the drop zone and then deploy the cargo using a small drogue parachute.’
    utilize, make use of, avail oneself of, employ, work, operate, wield, ply, apply, manoeuvre, manipulate, put to use, put into service, find a use for, resort to
    exercise, employ, apply, exert, bring into play, practise, implement, draw on
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial Treat (someone) in a particular way.
      ‘use your troops well and they will not let you down’
      • ‘If you play this variation, you can sometimes use a joker profitably to lengthen one of your suits.’
      manage, handle, treat, behave towards, act towards, conduct oneself towards, deal with
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Exploit (a person or situation) for one's own advantage.
      ‘I couldn't help feeling that she was using me’
      • ‘Her friends saw her as using him for his money really as they thought she never really loved him and saw him as a short term investment.’
      • ‘Cat said she stayed with him for two more months, even though it was obvious he was using her.’
      • ‘It was put to him that he was really using his daughters and treating them as objects.’
      • ‘While she uses her own family, she sees their situation and her emotions as universal.’
      • ‘The pity and gratitude disappeared as soon as I came to know he was just using me.’
      • ‘If it turned out she was using me, then she probably wasn't a friend in the first place.’
      • ‘However much he might try to spin it the other way, he's not acting as a conduit for our wishes, but merely using us to support his own.’
      • ‘These artists are trying to shock us, exploit us, use us for their next pay cheque.’
      • ‘She says he lied about his sexual orientation, and was just using her to get cash and a green card.’
      • ‘I bugged him about that last night, that he was just using me and my place for killing time.’
      • ‘Not that she talked about him in there - he didn't need the publicity, and she didn't want people to think she was using him.’
      • ‘He worried I might be using him as a bargaining tool but I showed that wasn't the case.’
      • ‘The audience is made to feel sorry for her as she is used by these pathetic men.’
      • ‘Adam had used me and treated me shabbily for four years so it would do him good to get a little of his own medicine.’
      take advantage of, exploit, make use of, manipulate, take liberties with, capitalize on, profit from, trade on, milk, impose on, abuse, misuse, mistreat, maltreat, treat lightly, trifle with, play with
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Apply (a name or title) to oneself.
      ‘she still used her maiden name professionally’
      • ‘Sir is still used as a title and a form of respect.’
      • ‘It is common to use the title and family name until one is invited to use a first name.’
      • ‘Mr Cavanar said that at times Mr Deman had applied for a job under two names and sometimes used a pseudonym of Phil White.’
      • ‘Apparently, Heather uses her mother's maiden name when on the phone and on letters.’
      • ‘Mr Blackwell, who used his middle name Brian, took pride in his well-maintained home and garden.’
      • ‘He had used Rob's real name instead of his title for the first time, and everyone noticed.’
      • ‘Eventually Archduke Otto, while remaining head of the Habsburg family, stopped using his titles.’
      • ‘Abbas, who uses one name professionally, was born in Iran in 1944 and moved with his family to Algeria when he was eight.’
      • ‘We also made it clear that we would not be mentioning the artists by name and we only used pseudonyms when dealing with the press.’
      • ‘I applied for one using a Christian name, and was offered an interview.’
      • ‘He used the stage name Phyllis Edinburgh, but to the best of my knowledge his real identity was never discovered.’
      • ‘Both presidents were assassinated in office and both assassins used their middle names for preference.’
      • ‘In tune with that desire, he does not use his title and is known by his first name at the university.’
    4. 1.4 Take (an illegal drug)
      ‘they were using heroin daily’
      no object ‘had she been using again?’
      • ‘Drugs were sent to the home from friends in South America while he used a small amount for personal use.’
      • ‘The one thing most people are likely to have heard about the young pretender is his refusal to say whether he has used illegal drugs.’
      • ‘There are no substitutes for cocaine and hashish addicts to help them stop using drugs.’
      • ‘He didn't approve of using illegal drugs, but he had no real stance on legalization of pot.’
      • ‘Cocaine and crack cocaine were used by only a small minority of women in each group.’
      • ‘Police and former problematic consumers regale pupils with horror stories and issue warnings of what can happen if one uses drugs.’
      • ‘At the time he was desperately trying to pay of debts he had built up through his drug addiction using heroin and crack cocaine.’
      • ‘He's got quite a bad drugs background, and it just goes to show that using heroin and crack cocaine is very expensive.’
      • ‘Many parents, however, may refuse to welcome into their home an adult daughter who uses drugs.’
      • ‘They use a small amount of these drugs, a lot of them just at weekends.’
      • ‘Police found the foreigners and two Thai women engaged in the process of using illegal drugs.’
      • ‘Most cases affected cannabis users, who are a majority of those using illegal drugs.’
      • ‘Although I had quit drinking, I began using drugs by myself in an attempt to feel better.’
      • ‘For Peter and many like him, prison was not an effective deterrent to using drugs.’
      • ‘Urine tests were performed and those using illegal drugs were also ensnared in the net.’
      • ‘What are we doing to prevent them from using drugs at an age when they are still innocent and vulnerable?’
      • ‘He admits to using illegal drugs in order to deal with the pain, she added.’
      • ‘On doctors' recommendations, he uses marijuana to relieve symptoms of these illnesses.’
      • ‘He said Knight, who was on the bottom rung of the supply ladder, was using two to three bags a day but had only been dealing the drug for four days.’
      • ‘But when he was arrested at Trinity Road in Bristol he was found not to be using crack cocaine or heroin.’
  • 2Take or consume (an amount) from a limited supply.

    ‘we have used all the available funds’
    • ‘Second, think laterally about new ways of using limited resources.’
    • ‘Space heating uses the largest amount of energy, so actions that reduce home heating requirements will have the greatest impact.’
    • ‘It's only a small amount that is used as a fertilizer, that is fertilizer grade.’
    • ‘Air travel uses large amounts of fossil fuel, which are then turned to greenhouse gases, released at high altitude.’
    • ‘They are on all the time and use a colossal amount of electricity and overheat.’
    • ‘You will probably be able to save about a third of the amount of water used in bathing.’
    • ‘The team's research shows no other reported chip uses a lower amount of energy consumed per decoded information bit.’
    • ‘A meter will monitor the amount of water used from the existing water supply at the location.’
    • ‘Nearly all the lighting uses efficient fluorescent bulbs, and walls are insulated and windows double-glazed.’
    • ‘Fill the tank again, note the amount of litres taken and divide the number of miles driven by the amount of fuel used.’
    • ‘For example, use small amounts of unsaturated oils, like olive oil or sunflower oil.’
    • ‘At home they had only let him take freezing cold baths and use a small amount of soap.’
    • ‘It was a recipe in which each of the ingredients were stated to be used in amounts within the specified ranges.’
    • ‘This amount was to be used over the five year period to which the naming rights applied.’
    • ‘With budgets tight, many in the force see this as the most efficient way of using limited resources.’
    • ‘In May I suddenly started receiving electricity bills out of proportion to the amount I had used.’
    • ‘Capable of using large amounts of data, without having to be carried over a shoulder or being recharged more than once a day.’
    • ‘The advantage is that it uses much less energy than the distillation process.’
    • ‘The chemical industry is also the industry that uses the greatest amount of energy.’
    • ‘Apart from a tiny amount which was used on business, all the rest was spent on buying a house and car and on himself.’
    consume, get through, go through, exhaust, deplete, expend, spend, waste, fritter away, squander, dissipate
    View synonyms
  • 3used to /juːst/in past, with infinitive Describing an action or situation that was done repeatedly or existed for a period in the past.

    ‘this road used to be a dirt track’
    ‘I used to give him lifts home’
    • ‘People who used to shop here regularly can no longer do so with the traffic chaos.’
    • ‘Ben makes his own wine, but the cups he used to drink it from have been cracked by Liz.’
    • ‘Because most houses used to own one or two cows that they would keep in a byre near the house.’
    • ‘We used to go for a walk together every Sunday during the war when her daughter was a baby.’
    • ‘He was a hod carrier and sometimes used to work seven days a week.’
    • ‘Until about six months ago, we used to have a warden living in a house next to our flats.’
    • ‘I used to drive past it all the time in a previous job but never went into the grounds.’
    • ‘He now plans to sell the shop and return to London, where he used to own a coffee shop.’
    • ‘A cross which used to stand at the head of the grave had fallen down and been taken away.’
    • ‘It used to be that one in ten in the city was unemployed - now it is more like one in six.’
    • ‘He used to get friends to ask girls out for him rather than make the approach himself.’
    • ‘We used to stay in a house on the coast nearby and of course the castle was always on the visit list.’
    • ‘We used to have a cat but she died a few years ago and we decided that it was best if we didn't replace her.’
    • ‘Do these people ever walk around the city and see all the spaces where shops used to be?’
    • ‘We used to play this song over and over just before she left to live in Germany.’
    • ‘We used to go out and put posters up late at night illegally and put stickers all over town.’
    • ‘This reminds me of when my Dad used to make kites for me out of bamboo canes and brown paper.’
    • ‘I used to keep a diary long ago.’
    • ‘It is a chance for my children to see the kind of environment I used to play in every week.’
    • ‘People used to say he was a lucky player, but over that period of time it is not luck.’
    exercise, employ, apply, exert, bring into play, practise, implement, draw on
    View synonyms
  • 4be/get used to /juːst/Be or become familiar with (someone or something) through experience.

    ‘she was used to getting what she wanted’
    ‘he's weird, but you just have to get used to him’
    • ‘I took him back there to a home he was used to living in and put him back in a school he was used to.’
    • ‘Cuba offers a reasonable range of hotels, though do not expect a five-star hotel to meet the standard you may be used to.’
    • ‘Overall we have 22 nations in our company so we are used to treating everybody fair and well.’
    • ‘No doubt Myanmar drivers are quite used to the situation, but it seems to take its toll on the vehicles.’
    • ‘The point is that what you are used to is normal, and dealing with it is a matter of course.’
    • ‘They had to find a way to return to the profits they were used to.’
    • ‘Performing in front of thousands of fans is an experience Kevin is getting used to.’
    • ‘It can be hard to learn to deal with, especially if you are not used to getting such vitriolic feedback.’
    • ‘The lucky quartet have now been happily rehoused in conditions much more lavish than they were used to.’
    • ‘We tried the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, however it was a bit rough and not like the wines we were used to in Australia.’
    • ‘The three of them smoked cigarettes to keep warm, the cold weather not something they were used to.’
    • ‘We are creatures of habit and only feel comfortable with people we are used to.’
    • ‘The trade-off in this crisis is not the sort that our globalised politicians are used to dealing with.’
    • ‘Now, my boss is a devote Christian and this perhaps wasn't quite the response he had anticipated or was used to.’
    • ‘A couple of the suppliers did not respond, but those we are used to dealing with all came to the table.’
    • ‘Mr King said McPhee had been to a christening and had drunk far more than he was used to.’
    • ‘In this country we are used to dealing with grievances in this area under a treaty claims process.’
    • ‘The school was so different to what I was used to - it was bigger and it was only boys.’
    • ‘I thought I could just pop into my local clinic and see someone, like the drop in clinics I was used to.’
    • ‘He is so used to dealing with smugglers that he only talked in coded language.’
  • 5one could useinformal One would like or benefit from.

    ‘I could use another cup of coffee’
    • ‘The putting green is the only area where you could use a little bit more time.’


mass noun
Pronunciation /juːs/
  • 1The action of using something or the state of being used for a purpose.

    ‘hyper-modern trains are now in use’
    ‘theatre owners were charging too much for the use of their venues’
    ‘the software is ideal for use in schools’
    • ‘New groups of elite can gain access to power through the use of elections.’
    • ‘The satellite phone in the apartment had been in use almost constantly.’
    • ‘This would include sharing masts that are currently in use by other phone companies.’
    • ‘It remained in use until 18 months ago when a dangerous structures notice was served on it.’
    • ‘What was the use of all this power they were entitled to if, when they needed it most, it could not help.’
    • ‘Three methods of screening of vehicles are in use for security purposes.’
    • ‘Court staff were also warned to be on their guard and instructed to ensure court rooms were locked at all time when not in use.’
    • ‘Now that issues such as climate change and the use of nuclear power are coming to the fore have your opinions changed?’
    • ‘Another steam car proved to be more satisfactory and was approved for use alongside horse power.’
    • ‘Much of the power of the Church was based on its ability to enforce the use of Latin as the language of worship.’
    • ‘The upstairs gym is being relocated, but the downstairs gym is still in use.’
    • ‘In addition, it may be possible to recycle some security devices no longer in use.’
    • ‘The list goes on to include a large number of words no longer actually in use, which leaves you wondering why they are there.’
    • ‘It is estimated there are around two million computers in use in Scotland.’
    • ‘The use of the word literature was intended to send the message that this is about writing a book.’
    • ‘For most of today's great powers, the use of force would jeopardise their economic objectives.’
    • ‘What is less obvious in this sort of reportage is its selectivity or the use of leading questions.’
    • ‘He urged the police to increase the use of their stop-and-search powers to cut down on youth knife crime.’
    • ‘The building itself was built in 1607 as a private residence, but it was in use as an inn by 1775.’
    • ‘In a society ruled by law, the use of public power should be authorized and permitted by laws.’
    utilization, application, usage, employment, operation, manipulation, manoeuvring
    exploitation, manipulation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The ability or power to exercise or manipulate one's mind or body.
      ‘the horse lost the use of his hind legs’
      • ‘Her legs would give way; she would fall down and soon lost the use of her legs altogether.’
      • ‘In this there is no difference from the use of the mind by any other professional.’
      • ‘Fans of movement will love it for the way integrates the use of the body with the music.’
      • ‘This is in total contrast to the amount of walking or exercise involving the use of the legs.’
      • ‘Would you like to maximise the use of your mind and explore the power of your brain?’
    2. 1.2count noun A purpose for or way in which something can be used.
      ‘the herb has various culinary uses’
      • ‘This herb has been around for centuries, and is highly valued for both its medicinal and culinary uses.’
      • ‘The creatures were to be sent to Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, China and other south Asian countries where they are in great demand for medicinal uses.’
      • ‘It has many other culinary uses: it can be added to mince for a different-tasting shepherd's pie.’
      • ‘These energies form the core of traditional Chinese theory, which determines an herb's uses and effects.’
      • ‘They are also concerned about secondary uses of their data, particularly for marketing and insurance purposes.’
      • ‘A spin-off is a technology that has been transferred to uses other than the purpose for which it was developed.’
      • ‘Cooks classify tomatoes and other garden produce by their culinary uses; by that criterion, a tomato is a vegetable.’
      • ‘Even at the current premium price of titanium, many items for civilian and military uses are justifiable in titanium.’
      • ‘Juniper was a native conifer that thrived in the highlands of Scotland with a multitude of culinary and medicinal uses.’
      • ‘This vegetable has a similar taste to celery and, as well as having a range of culinary uses, is quite easy to grow.’
      • ‘Overall, the median number of efficient and safe uses per device was 10.’
      • ‘These uses did not include efficiency and effectiveness measures, which became prevalent after the move inland.’
      • ‘Chairman of the panel told members the scheme would help to pave the way for more efficient uses of fuel in the 21st century.’
      • ‘A writer or publisher could take a tough stance on copyright, requiring all uses of the work to involve permission and fees.’
      • ‘But seminaries first have to determine appropriate educational uses of new technologies.’
      • ‘We're not talking about latent powers that you can develop over a period of time, for other purposes or other uses.’
      • ‘First of all, for medical purposes, Cannabis has uses.’
      • ‘It is a popular summer fruit with many culinary uses.’
      • ‘The Northern Rivers Herb Festival is gearing up to be another huge event for Lismore with a major focus this year on culinary uses of local native herbs.’
      • ‘Of aloe vera's many uses, most probably the best known is in the treatment of burns.’
      need, necessity, call, demand, occasion, purpose, reason, cause, grounds, justification, requirement, excuse
      View synonyms
  • 2The value or advantage of something.

    ‘it was no use trying to persuade her’
    ‘what's the use of crying?’
    • ‘The truth is that the importance of the internet far exceeds its use as an e-commerce tool.’
    • ‘I tried to glue it back together but it was just no use.’
    • ‘He said you'd have to be a fly on the wall at a gathering of British Aristocracy to find a group of less use and worth.’
    • ‘It is often little use trying to explain to someone the theology of suffering when they are in the midst of it!’
    • ‘The chapter on Catholic priests is based on so small a sampling as to be of slight use.’
    • ‘If you're thinking that the final figures won't be much use at all then you're probably not the only one.’
    • ‘After all, he needed something to make up for the fact that in general, his mind was as much use as a milkshake with no milk.’
    • ‘Our mission is to provide useful information that would be of use to both the informed citizen and the casual voter.’
    • ‘It would of course also be too specifically Christian to be of use in cases of interfaith disagreement.’
    • ‘Considering the opportunities we have all been given, are we really putting our lives to best use?’
    • ‘This is one point on which I agree with him and it leads me to wonder if this book has much use or value at all to the casual user.’
    • ‘For example, a manuscript copied after the advent of printing is likely to be of little use in textual criticism.’
    • ‘It has got to come and I have to face it, so it is no use worrying or being annoyed about it.’
    • ‘E-mail trails leading to Accra or Algiers aren't much use once your bank account has been emptied.’
    • ‘Those surveys have precious little use as evidence for anything useful or important any more.’
    • ‘All the symbolism of her persona was of no use to sway the mind of the majority who want the bases out.’
    • ‘He does not strike me as a person who would keep something around that is of no use or value.’
    usefulness, advantage, benefit, service, utility, help, good, gain, avail, profit, value, worth, point, object, motive, aim, goal, purpose, sense, reason
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Law historical The benefit or profit of lands, especially lands that are in the possession of another who holds them solely for the beneficiary.
      • ‘The planning system controls the development and use of land in the public interest.’
      • ‘It is not uncommon for local authorities to attach conditions in regard to the development and use of land.’
      • ‘This can be translated into the question: was the defendant's use of land reasonable?’
      • ‘Under the regulations the arbitrator had to take into account the land use for the last 5 years.’
      • ‘I adopt Lord Goff's reasoning, as he applied it to natural user, to the issue of reasonable use of land.’
      • ‘Non-natural use of land is a different concept from the negligent use of the land.’
      • ‘Private nuisance is an unlawful interference with an individual's enjoyment or use of his land.’
      • ‘Justice Lee found there to be a right to possession, occupation and use of the land.’
      • ‘The plaintiff did not use the land and was unaware of the defendant's use of it.’
      • ‘This would be based on the authorised planning use of the land at the date of an inspection.’
  • 3The habitual consumption of a drug.

    ‘burgling and dealing financed their heroin use’
    • ‘How do you think that we can put an end to the business of illicit drug use and trafficking worldwide?’
    • ‘The chance of conception may be reduced by smoking, caffeine, and use of recreational drugs.’
    • ‘However, Keith's positive test for use of a recreational drug lets down both the county and the game.’
    • ‘This would have a bad effect on society, as we don't want increased use of cocaine and heroin.’
    • ‘Where I am concerned is that I pay taxes to keep the police busy controlling drug use.’
    • ‘As for the argument that cannabis use leads to use of hard drugs, well that is just rubbish.’
    • ‘Do those campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis automatically condone heroin use?’
    • ‘There's been a boom in heroin use in rural areas in the UK over the last few years.’
    • ‘The objective of the legislation is to fight drug use and addiction from a new standpoint.’
    • ‘Some might argue that recreational drug use, if not sanctioned and taxed, is against the law after all.’
    • ‘Drug use in general has received a great deal of attention from the government.’
    • ‘However, at the same time there has also been a progression in the number of ways athletes are able to hide their drug use.’
    • ‘None of the subjects drank alcohol, had special diets or chronic drug use.’
    • ‘Campbell admitted lying about her use of drugs in the past on several occasions.’
    • ‘When people use drugs, it is often the result of preexisting problems and pressures.’
    • ‘However my biggest fear surrounding this element of drug use concerns the trading of it.’
    • ‘Yes, the use of heroin and harder drugs has also risen steadily there over a similar period.’
    • ‘She found a job and a flat but fell into drug use, taking cocaine and ecstasy, and her life began to fall apart.’
    • ‘In this country the law as to the habitual use of such drugs is somewhat illogical.’
    • ‘This is surely more of a worrying trend than the few people who follow onto harder drugs through use.’
  • 4The characteristic ritual and liturgy of a Christian Church or diocese.


The construction used to is standard, but difficulties arise with the formation of negatives and questions. Traditionally, used to behaves as a modal verb, so that questions and negatives are formed without the auxiliary verb do, as in it used not to be like that and used she to come here? In modern English this question form is now regarded as very formal or awkwardly old-fashioned and the use with do is broadly accepted as standard, as in did she use to come here? Negative constructions with do, on the other hand (as in it didn't use to be like that), though common, are informal and are not generally accepted. There is sometimes confusion over whether to use the form used to or use to, which has arisen largely because the pronunciation is the same in both cases. Except in negatives and questions, the correct form is used to: we used to go to the park all the time, not we use to go to the park all the time. However, in negatives and questions using the auxiliary verb do, the correct form is use to, because the form of the verb required is the infinitive: I didn't use to like mushrooms, not I didn't used to like mushrooms. See also utilize


  • be of (any) use

    • Be useful.

      ‘to be of any use, the photos must be up to date’
      ‘he had to remain focused if he was to be any use in the search’
      ‘a pair of goggles would be of use’
      • ‘I would expect that there will be new ways in which trade unions can be of use to society.’
      • ‘We must thank our old school for providing us with the knowledge and training to be of use to our communities.’
      • ‘Such TV systems will have no analogue outputs so even your old VCR won't be of any use.’
      • ‘He wonders if it is of any use to build the bridge.’
      • ‘Her new book should be of use to a wide range of readers.’
  • come into (or go out of) use

    • Begin to be (or cease to be) practised or employed commonly or habitually.

      ‘a few years after penicillin came into use’
      • ‘The area has seen increasing neglect, as first arable and then grazing land went out of use.’
      • ‘X-ray machines have been the dread of photographers since they first came into use in airports.’
      • ‘He was the last Air Force chief to receive the accolade before the old imperial honours system went out of use in Australia.’
      • ‘The new routes will come into use in August, with 98 buses arriving over the summer in time for the launch.’
      • ‘The first pedestrian-operated robot will come into use tomorrow.’
      • ‘The 18th century water mill went out of use in 1960.’
  • have its (or one's) uses

    • informal Be useful in certain respects.

      ‘I know you don't like him, but he has his uses’
      ‘an army training has its uses’
      • ‘Such groupings - be they ethnic, national, or gendered - undoubtedly have their uses.’
      • ‘They certainly have their uses, as Elgar divined.’
      • ‘In summary, the smaller the company, the more likely it is to have private shareholders, and these have their uses.’
      • ‘These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses.’
      • ‘(I appreciate that lawyers do have their uses in criminal cases).’
      • ‘Now I'm perfectly aware that some yeast have their uses.’
      • ‘Hyde has his uses but he doesn't come across as a team player.’
      • ‘Both formats have their uses, to be sure, but if the future of music distribution is direct online downloads, and I think it is, neither one is appropriate.’
      • ‘The hormones do have risks, as does every drug, natural and non-natural, but they also have their uses.’
      • ‘The weapons all have their uses, but the skills required to use them properly are the result of a combination of factors that we can perhaps touch on later.’
  • have no use for

    • informal Dislike or be impatient with.

      ‘look at the reception he gave her—Andrew has no use for Mrs Jones’
      • ‘‘I have no use for a writer who directs my attention to himself and to his wit instead of the people he is interpreting,’ Jean-Luc Godard said in one of his early articles.’
      • ‘And that is one form of weapon I have no use for, proof that I have not absorbed all of my father's teachings.’
      • ‘Some conservatives I just have no use for at all.’
      • ‘He has no use for the opinions people in Ontario may have, but continues to express the same disdain for the public that Mr Harris exhibited and apparently institutionalized.’
      • ‘And the odd bureaucrat who will speak his mind tells you why he has no use for journalists in his State.’
      • ‘He then goes on to say: ‘Personally I have no use for them whatsoever.’’
      • ‘Today's political elite has no use for genuinely engaged and active citizens who actually want to shape their own lives and society at large.’
      • ‘If you find yourself in a different situation, it's entirely possible that you will have no use for my ramblings.’
      • ‘They have no use for deprecating comparisons of the city's ‘winter’ with much more chill conditions elsewhere in the State this winter.’
      • ‘It has made him many enemies in an Australian rugby establishment that now has no use for him.’
  • make use of

    • 1Use for a purpose.

      ‘they made use of a variety of methods in their research’
      • ‘People who are lactose intolerant do not have enough of this enzyme, and thus cannot make use of milk sugar.’
      • ‘I'll also hopefully be making use of all the excellent actors and crew that are here.’
      • ‘It is simply a case of making use of the benefits of different mediums for different purposes.’
      • ‘Victims may choose whether or not to make use of the legal process, waiving their rights to compensation if they do not wish to sue.’
      • ‘The defendant had also made use of the drain for his own purposes, since it drained water from his own land.’
      • ‘It is likewise forbidden to make use of a stolen article or derive any benefit from it.’
      • ‘His latest work is a historical survey of the political purposes for which governments have made use of naval force.’
      • ‘They share the feature that they make use of public roads for limited purposes.’
      • ‘They possessed a Hoover for this purpose which made use of a cloth bag.’
      • ‘Farmers have rarely made use of cooperatives for marketing purposes.’
      1. 1.1Benefit from.
        ‘they were educated enough to make use of further training’
        • ‘If I want to get out of it at any time I can, but I can also make unlimited overpayments and that is something I plan to make use of.’
        • ‘I know there are a lot of loopholes for these people to make use of and to make money.’
        • ‘There's wonderful opportunities to be made use of in this land and on this land.’
        • ‘This is not good enough because not everyone makes use of the hall.’
        • ‘It is almost always cheaper to rather make use of an overdraft than using your credit card for such purposes.’
        • ‘From the outset, many pundits and bookmakers had given warning that betting exchanges could be exploited by those making use of inside information.’
        • ‘It's that capitalism allows people more choices that they will actually make use of.’
        • ‘It suggests something to be made use of, something with which to turn a profit, rather than something which might change our lives.’
        • ‘Viewers can see sheep making use of nature's larder for feeding and medicinal purposes, calves playing tag and hens soaking up the sunshine.’
        • ‘So far as welfare is concerned, the French health service - which we've both made use of - is very good.’
        utilize, make use of, avail oneself of, employ, work, operate, wield, ply, apply, manoeuvre, manipulate, put to use, put into service, find a use for, resort to
        View synonyms
  • put something to good use

    • Employ or utilize something in a way that is greatly beneficial.

      ‘he wanted to put his experience to good use’
      • ‘They tried to put the money to good use, but they got mediocre results.’
      • ‘He had spent his last few years in professional rugby studying for a degree in sports science, and he has put the qualification to good use.’
      • ‘He put his strength to good use recently when he took first prize in his age group in a competition by the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association.’
      • ‘Putting her time to good use, Hayley raised an additional $40 for the Red Cross.’
      • ‘The new flood lights were put to good use on a very wet and windy December's night.’
  • use and wont

    • formal Established custom.

      ‘the painter followed the religious use and wont of his time’
      • ‘Golf was sufficiently well established that on 21 October 1633 the Town Council reserved the Inches for archery, golf and other pastimes according to use and wont.’
      • ‘The law of use and wont is soon established.’
      • ‘In accordance with use and wont the meeting resolved itself into a small party for the further exploration of the area.’
      • ‘He was in favour of local plate-glass insurance and a ‘black-list,’ and, in regard to holidays, said that use and wont was a great thing with the public.’
      • ‘He was to begin in favour of continuing use and wont, yet when the Directory was adopted he honourably accepted its guidance and ruling.’
  • use someone's name

    • Cite someone as an authority or reference.

      ‘you could use my name—if they know you work for me, they might open up’

Phrasal Verbs

  • use something up

    • 1Consume or expend the whole of something.

      ‘the money was soon used up’
      • ‘It's not time consuming, it uses up valuable milk products that might otherwise go to waste.’
      • ‘Developed nations in particular will have to face up to the reality that oil and gas supplies will be used up in another 70 years from now, he added.’
      • ‘These patterns were popular partly as they used up small amounts of wool.’
      • ‘If you send those countries commodities and other consumable items, they will be used up.’
      • ‘Once the money was used up, the treatments at the bottom of the list would no longer be available.’
      • ‘It turned out that they had spent days and nights at Internet cafes, one after the other until their money was used up.’
      • ‘Sprinkle the dressing, fried garlic, chilli and mint over the top until all the ingredients have been used up.’
      • ‘How much more of the nation's economic and intellectual resources will be used up before the problem of traffic speed is solved?’
      • ‘They left sums of money for prayers until the money was used up, or transferred property to ensure that the prayers went on for ever.’
      • ‘They are using up savings to supply food to their displaced ex-workers.’
      consume, get through, go through, exhaust, deplete, expend, spend, waste, fritter away, squander, dissipate
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1informal (of a person) be exhausted or emotionally drained.
        ‘she was tired and used up’


Middle English: the noun from Old French us, from Latin usus, from uti ‘to use’; the verb from Old French user, based on Latin uti.