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[yoozd or for 4, yoost] /yuzd or for 4, yust/
previously used or owned; secondhand:
a used car.
showing wear or being worn out:
a thrift shop that accepts used clothing.
employed for a purpose; utilized:
a frequently used dictionary.
used to, accustomed or habituated to:
I'm not used to cold weather. They weren't used to getting up so early.
Origin of used
1325-75; Middle English; see use, -ed2
Related forms
half-used, adjective
well-used, adjective


[verb yooz or for pt for mof 9, yoost; noun yoos] /verb yuz or for pt for mof 9, yust; noun yus/
verb (used with object), used, using.
to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of:
to use a knife.
to avail oneself of; apply to one's own purposes:
to use the facilities.
to expend or consume in use:
We have used the money provided.
to treat or behave toward:
He did not use his employees with much consideration.
to take unfair advantage of; exploit:
to use people to gain one's own ends.
to drink, smoke, or ingest habitually:
to use drugs.
to habituate or accustom.
Archaic. to practice habitually or customarily; make a practice of.
verb (used without object), used, using.
to be accustomed, wont, 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.
Archaic. to resort, stay, or dwell customarily.
the act of employing, using, or putting into service:
the use of tools.
the state of being employed or used.
an instance or way of employing or using something:
proper use of the tool; the painter's use of color.
a way of being employed or used; a purpose for which something is used:
He was of temporary use. The instrument has different uses.
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.
service or advantage in or for being employed or used; utility or usefulness:
of no practical use.
help; profit; resulting good:
What's the use of pursuing the matter?
occasion or need, as for something to be employed or used:
Would you have any use for another calendar?
continued, habitual, or customary employment or practice; custom:
to follow the prevailing use of such occasions.
  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.
Liturgy. the distinctive form of ritual or of any liturgical observance used in a particular church, diocese, community, etc.
usual or customary experience.
Verb phrases
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.
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.
make use of, to use for one's own purposes; employ:
Charitable organizations will make use of your old furniture and clothing.
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.
put to use, to apply; employ to advantage:
What a shame that no one has put that old deserted mansion to use!
1175-1225; (v.) Middle English usen < Old French user < Latin ūsus, past participle of ūtī to use; (noun) Middle English < Old French < Latin ūsus act of using a thing, application, employment, equivalent to ūt-, stem of ūtī to use + -tus suffix of v. action, with tt > s
Related forms
multiuse, adjective
nonuse, noun
nonusing, adjective
reuse, verb, reused, reusing, noun
underuse, verb (used with object), underused, underusing, noun
Can be confused
use, usage, utilize (see usage note at usage; see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Use, utilize mean to make something serve one's purpose. Use is the general word: to use a telephone; to use a saw and other tools; to use one's eyes; to use eggs in cooking. (What is used often has depreciated or been diminished, sometimes completely consumed: a used automobile; All the butter has been used. ) As applied to persons, use implies some selfish or sinister purpose: to use another to advance oneself. Utilize implies practical or profitable use: to utilize the means at hand, a modern system of lighting. 3. exhaust, waste. 7. familiarize, inure. 12. employment, utilization, application, exercise. 13. handling.
Usage note
See usage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for used
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He felt that he had been used unjustly; after all, he was not a wizard—what did the Chief expect!

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • But he was making real love, and you know I'm not used to that.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • But alas, it was only their idiosyncrasies which used to make any impression upon us.

    A Labrador Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • He said "It is Light" and he used the rays of the early sun to gather food for his family.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • Bixine is a purified extract of anotta made in France, and used by dyers.

    Field's Chromatography George Field
British Dictionary definitions for used


bought or sold second-hand: used cars


verb (transitive) (juːz)
to put into service or action; employ for a given purpose: to use a spoon to stir with
to make a practice or habit of employing; exercise: he uses his brain
to behave towards: to use a friend well
to behave towards in a particular way for one's own ends: he uses people
to consume, expend, or exhaust: the engine uses very little oil
(mainly US & Canadian) to partake of (alcoholic drink, drugs, etc) or smoke (tobacco, marijuana, etc)
noun (juːs)
the act of using or the state of being used: the carpet wore out through constant use
the ability, right, or permission to use
the occasion to use; need: I have no use for this paper
an instance or manner of using
usefulness; advantage: it is of no use to complain
custom; practice; habit: long use has inured him to it
the purpose for which something is used; end
(Christianity) a distinctive form of liturgical or ritual observance, esp one that is traditional in a Church or group of Churches
the enjoyment of property, land, etc, by occupation or by deriving revenue or other benefit from it
(law) the beneficial enjoyment of property the legal title to which is held by another person as trustee
(law) an archaic word for trust (sense 7)
(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 "Fido" refers to Fido, the name Fido is 'used' only on the second occurrence, first being mentioned Compare mention (sense 7) See also material mode
have no use for
  1. to have no need of
  2. to have a contemptuous dislike for
make use of
  1. to employ; use
  2. to exploit (a person)
See also used to, use up
Word Origin
C13: from Old French user to use, from Latin ūsus having used, from ūtī to use
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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Contemporary definitions for used
noun's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for used

"second-hand," 1590s, past participle adjective from use (v.). To be used to "accustomed, familiar" is recorded by 1520s. Verbal phrase used to "formerly did or was" (as in I used to love her) represents a construction attested from c.1300, and common from c.1400, but now surviving only in past tense form. The pronunciation is affected by the t- of to.



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.)).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for used



To use narcotics; take a dose or injection of a narcotic: I used this morning and I'm still nice (1950s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with used


In addition to the idiom beginning with used also see: it takes getting used to also see under: use
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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