Use Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary (2023)

1 use

/ˈjuːz/

verb

uses;

used;

using

1 use

/ˈjuːz/

verb

uses;

used;

using

Britannica Dictionary definition of USE

1

[+ object]

:

to do something with (an object, machine, person, method, etc.) in order to accomplish a task, do an activity, etc.

  • I need to use the phone when you're done.

  • The machine is easy to use.

  • After the accident, she could no longer use her legs.

  • We use only organic fertilizers on our farm.

  • They make paper using traditional Japanese methods.

  • He used his time there well/wisely.

  • Don't use that kind of language with me! [=don't talk to me in that way]

  • Will you use [=hire, employ] a contractor or oversee the construction of the house yourself?

  • Which accountant/bank do you use?

  • Maybe if we use our heads [=think carefully], we can figure this out.

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often followed by to + verb

  • Use this knife to cut the bread.

  • More and more people are using the Internet to find/get information.

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often + for

  • She used the money for college.

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often + as

  • We use that room as an office.

  • The word “place” can be used as a noun or verb.

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2

[+ object]

:

to take (something) from a supply in order to function or to do a task

  • a new kind of light bulb that uses very little electricity

  • Did you use all the eggs?

    (Video) Dictionary definition Meaning

  • Who used the last match?

  • The car uses a lot of gas.

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often + up

  • Did you use up all the eggs?

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3

[+ object]

used to say that something is needed or to ask if something is needed or wanted

usually used with can or could

  • Can you use this lamp? I don't want it anymore.

  • The house could use [=it needs] a coat of paint.

  • You look like you could use some sleep. [=you look like you need to sleep; you look tired]

  • I sure could use some help.

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4

a

[+ object]

:

to eat, drink, etc., (something) regularly

  • I don't use [=(more commonly) take] sugar in my tea.

  • She stopped using alcohol/drugs a year ago.

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b

[no object]

informal

:

to take illegal drugs regularly

  • How long has he been using?

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5

[+ object]

a

:

to treat (someone) well in order to get something for yourself

  • I realized that she was just using me (for my money).

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b

:

to treat (someone who is generous or helpful) unfairly

  • I'd been driving them all over the place, and I was beginning to feel used.

    (Video) Getting the Meaning of Words Using a Dictionary

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use up

[phrasal verb]

use up (something)

or

use (something) up

:

to take (all of something) from a supply

  • She quickly used up (all of) her inheritance.

  • Don't shower too long and use up (all) the hot water.

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see also 1use 2 (above)

see also used, used to

2 use

/ˈjuːs/

noun

plural

uses

2 use

/ˈjuːs/

noun

plural

uses

Britannica Dictionary definition of USE

1

[noncount]

a

:

the act of using something

  • The knife has become dull from constant use. [=from being used very often over a period of time]

  • Two players were suspended for illegal drug use.

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often + of

  • The law requires the use of seat belts. [=the law requires people to wear seat belts]

  • We talked about the author's use of irony in the novel.

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b

:

the state of being used

(Video) How to know the meaning of a difficult word without dictionary?

  • All of the computers are currently in use. [=are currently being used]

  • When did the word first come into use? [=when was the word first used?]

  • Typewriters have practically gone out of use. [=almost no people use typewriters anymore]

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2

a

[count]

:

a way in which something is or can be used

  • This tool has many uses. [=you can do many things with this tool]

  • Doctors have found a new use for the drug.

  • According to the dictionary, the word has two uses.

  • The technique has its uses [=the technique is useful in some ways], but better methods are available.

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b

[singular]

:

a way to use something or someone

usually + for

  • I thought you might be able to find a use for this lamp. [=I thought that you might be able to use this lamp for some purpose]

  • Thanks for volunteering. I'm sure we'll be able to find a use for someone with your skills and experience.

  • Do you have a/any use for this old computer?

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3

[noncount]

:

the opportunity or right to use something

  • She gave me the use of her car [=she allowed me to use her car] while she was away.

  • The pool is for the use of hotel guests only. [=only hotel guests are allowed to swim in the pool]

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4

[noncount]

used to say that something or someone is or is not helpful or useful

  • It's too small to be of use.

  • I don't think that dreams are of much use in predicting the future. [=I don't think that dreams help people predict the future]

  • Go home and rest. You're no use to us if you're sick. [=you cannot help us if you're sick]

  • He's been of no use at all to me. [=he hasn't helped me at all]

  • I felt that I could be of some use to her. [=that I could help her in some way]

  • There's no use (in) worrying about the past. [=worrying about the past will not help, make anything better, etc.]

  • “You should talk to her.” “What's the use? [=talking to her will not help] She's not going to change her mind.”

  • What's the use of trying? It won't help.

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5

(Video) When and how to use a dictionary – and when NOT to use a dictionary!

[noncount]

:

the ability or power to use something

+ of

  • He lost (the) use of his legs in a car accident.

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have no use for

or

not have any use for

:

to not like or value (someone or something)

  • I have no use for such rude people.

  • I'm a logical person. I have no use for sentimentality.

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it's no use

used to say that something you have tried to do cannot be done

  • It's no use—the door won't open.

  • We tried our hardest, but it was no use.

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make use of

:

to use (something)

  • She made use of the money to pay for college.

  • He tried to make good/better use of his spare time. [=he tried to use it in a better and more productive way]

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put (something) to (good) use

:

to use (something) in an effective way

  • I'm looking forward to putting my new skills to use. [=to using my new skills; to doing what I have just learned to do]

  • Thanks for the donation. We'll put it to good use. [=we'll do something good with it]

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(Video) WISHLIST Meaning Definition In Cambridge English Dictionary || Only nonskip

FAQs

How Enough is enough meaning? ›

used to say that one wants something to stop because one can no longer accept or deal with it. I don't mind lending her a bit of money now and then, but enough is enough!

What is the full meaning of enough? ›

: in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction : sufficiently.

How much is enough definition? ›

determiner. Enough means as much as you need or as much as is necessary. They had enough cash for a one-way ticket. pronoun. If you say that something is enough, you mean that you do not want it to continue any longer or get any worse.

Has enough meaning? ›

If you say that you have had enough, you mean that you are unhappy with a situation and you want it to stop.

How are you enough meaning? ›

“You are enough” means that there is nothing you need to be deemed as valuable and worthwhile.

How do you use enough correctly? ›

We normally only use enough of when it is followed by a determiner or a pronoun (a/an/the, this/that, my/your/his, you/them, etc.). There isn't enough of that bread to make sandwiches for everyone. I've seen enough of his work to be able to recommend him. There's enough of us to make a difference.

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