mid-13c., from O.Fr. user "use, employ, practice," from V.L. *usare "use," frequentative form of pp. stem of L. uti "to use," in Old L. oeti "use, employ, exercise, perform," of unknown origin. Replaced O.E. brucan (see brook (v.)). Used "second-hand" is recorded from 1590s.
User is recorded from 1935 in the narcotics sense, 1967 in the computer sense. User-friendly (1977) is said in some sources to have been coined by software designer Harlan Crowder as early as 1972. 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.
early 13c., from O.Fr. us, from L. usus "use, custom, skill, habit," from pp. stem of uti (see use (v.)). Useful is recorded from 1590s; useless is first attested 1590s.