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[yoo-sij, -zij] /ˈyu sɪdʒ, -zɪdʒ/
a customary way of doing something; a custom or practice:
the usages of the last 50 years.
the customary manner in which a language or a form of a language is spoken or written:
English usage; a grammar based on usage rather than on arbitrary notions of correctness.
a particular instance of this:
a usage borrowed from French.
any manner of doing or handling something; treatment:
rough usage.
habitual or customary use; long-continued practice:
immemorial usage.
an act of using or employing; use.
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Medieval Latin ūsāticum, equivalent to Latin ūs(us) (see use) + -āticum -age
Related forms
nonusage, noun
Can be confused
use, usage, utilize (see usage note at the current entry; see synonym study at use)
1. tradition, habit, convention.
Usage note
The nouns usage and use are related in origin and meaning and to some extent overlap in their use. Usage usually refers to habitual or customary practices or procedures: Some usages of the Anglican Church are similar to those of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also commonly used in reference to language practices: English usage is divided in the pronunciation of aunt. Use refers to the act of using or employing (something): She put her extra money to good use. Perhaps in the belief that it is the more impressive term, usage is sometimes used where use would be more natural: Has your usage of a personal computer made the work any easier? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for usage
  • The speaker's meaning may depend on various factors including context, tone of voice, local custom and historical usage.
  • Notes from the newsroom on grammar, usage and style.
  • There are huge differences in usage among countries.
  • Read our shopping and usage tips and learn how to pick a more energy-efficient set.
  • Using desert plants in the rest of the landscape helps compensate for the lawn's high water usage.
  • It simply doubled the battery life on the product page to reflect a half-hour daily usage.
  • Reset your data usage meter on your phone and check its consumption regularly.
  • Each one of them recognizes the dangers of marijuana usage.
  • But it turns out that the no-complement version is the less common usage.
  • Show your family the results of one day's water usage.
British Dictionary definitions for usage


/ˈjuːsɪdʒ; -zɪdʒ/
the act or a manner of using; use; employment
constant use, custom, or habit
something permitted or established by custom or practice
what is actually said in a language, esp as contrasted with what is prescribed
Word Origin
C14: via Old French, from Latin ūsususe (n)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for usage

c.1300, "established practice, custom," from Anglo-French and Old French usage "custom, habit, experience," from us, from Latin usus "use, custom" (see use (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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