Other forms: used; using; uses

Say the daughter of your favorite musician just enrolled at your school. If you just use her to get to meet her rock star dad, that's pretty unkind.

Use is an old word with a lot of, well, uses. You can use a bike to get to school, or use up an entire tube of toothpaste in one vigorous brushing session. You might have to show Grandma how to use the 3-in-1 remote control. As a noun use means "purpose." As a verb, use means either "put to work," or "work something until there isn't anything left," unless you use your friend, meaning you exploit her.

Definitions of use
  1. verb
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    use your head!”
    “we only use Spanish at home”
    “I can't use this tool”
    use the plastic bags to store the food”
    “He doesn't know how to use a computer”
    synonyms: apply, employ, utilise, utilize
    apply, practice
    avail oneself to
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    commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
    give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
    employ in a game or in a specific position
    use or move
    pull out all the stops
    use all resources available
    assign, put
    attribute or give
    use diligently
    address or apply oneself to something, direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
    use inefficiently or inappropriately
    misapply, misuse
    apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
    use to one's advantage
    overdrive, overuse
    make use of too often or too extensively
    cannibalise, cannibalize
    use parts of something to repair something else
    recycle, reprocess, reuse
    use again after processing
    exploit, work
    use or manipulate to one's advantage
    exploit, tap
    draw from; make good use of
    extend, strain
    use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
    exercise, exert
    put to use
    have benefit from
    travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route
    use jointly or in common
    put to work, work
    cause to work
    apply in a manner consistent with its purpose or design
    fall back, recur, resort
    have recourse to
    skillfully utilize, process, or operate on
    exercise, work, work out
    give a workout to
    warm up
    cause to do preliminary exercises so as to stretch the muscles
    maximise, maximize
    make the most of
    consecrate, vow
    dedicate to a deity by a vow
    dedicate anew
    change a pawn for a better piece by advancing it to the eighth row, or change a checker piece for a more valuable piece by moving it to the row closest to your opponent
    put or confide something in a person or thing
    present or use over, with no or few changes
    make hay
    turn to one's advantage
    use to one's advantage
    exploit the power of
    get from the earth by excavation
    extract (something such as stones) from or as if from a quarry
    exploit excessively
    commercialise, commercialize
    exploit for maximal profit, usually by sacrificing quality
    exploit as much as possible
    overextend, overstrain
    strain excessively
    task, tax
    use to the limit
    avail, help
    take or use
    feed, prey
    profit from in an exploitatory manner
    computerise, computerize, cybernate
    control a function, process, or creation by a computer
    reclaim, recover
    reuse (materials from waste products)
    double up
    share a room or a bed designed for only one person
    combine into a common fund
    communalise, communalize
    make something the property of the commune or community
    put on a rack and pinion
    exploit, overwork
    work excessively hard
    apply oneself to
    exploit a skill or resource in order to get something of greater value
  2. verb
    seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage
    “She uses her influential friends to get jobs”
    “The president's wife used her good connections”
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    take advantage, trespass
    make excessive use of
    encroach, entrench, impinge, trench
    impinge or infringe upon
    type of:
    exploit, work
    use or manipulate to one's advantage
  3. verb
    take or consume (regularly or habitually)
    synonyms: habituate
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    drink, tope
    drink excessive amounts of alcohol; be an alcoholic
    lodge and take meals (at)
    type of:
    consume, have, ingest, take, take in
    serve oneself to, or consume regularly
  4. verb
    use up, consume fully
    synonyms: expend
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    abuse, misuse, pervert
    change the inherent purpose or function of something
    use wrongly or improperly or excessively
    use frugally or carefully
    occupy, take, use up
    require (time or space)
    blow, squander, waste
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
    violate or abuse
    take in vain
    use a name, such as God, without proper respect
    spend or use time
    spend (significant amounts of money)
  5. verb
    avail oneself to
    use care when going down the stairs”
    use your common sense”
    synonyms: apply, practice
    apply, employ, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
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    adhere to or practice
  6. verb
    habitually do something (use only in the past tense)
    “She used to call her mother every week but now she calls only occasionally”
    “I used to get sick when I ate in that dining hall”
    “They used to vacation in the Bahamas”
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    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
Definitions of use
  1. noun
    the act of using
    synonyms: employment, exercise, usage, utilisation, utilization
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    the exercise of a profession
    utilization or exercise
    abuse, misuse
    improper or excessive use
    development, exploitation
    the act of making some area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful
    the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products
    application, practical application
    the act of bringing something to bear; using it for a particular purpose
    the use of methods that do not cause long-term harm to the environment or deplete natural resources
    the practice of giving expert advice within a particular field
    the practice of beautifying the face and hair and skin
    dental practice
    the practice of dentistry
    law practice
    the practice of law
    medical practice
    the practice of medicine
    the practice of an optometrist
    private practice
    the practice of a profession independently and not as an employee
    drug abuse, habit, substance abuse
    excessive use of drugs
    land development
    making an area of land more useful
    water development, water program, water project
    making an area of water more useful
    bottle collection
    collecting bottles for reuse
    wrong use or application
    engineering, technology
    the practical application of science to commerce or industry
    overexploitation, overuse, overutilisation, overutilization
    exploitation to the point of diminishing returns
    capitalisation, capitalization
    the act of capitalizing on an opportunity
    commercialisation, commercialization
    the act of commercializing something; involving something in commerce
    the act of providing electricity
    unitisation, unitization
    the joint development of a petroleum resource that straddles territory controlled by different companies
    the use or practice of witchcraft
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  2. noun
    what something is used for
    “ballet is beautiful but what use is it?”
    synonyms: function, purpose, role
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    raison d'etre
    the purpose that justifies a thing's existence
    type of:
    usefulness, utility
    the quality of being of practical use
  3. noun
    a particular service
    “he put his knowledge to good use
    “patrons have their uses
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    type of:
    usefulness, utility
    the quality of being of practical use
  4. noun
    exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
    synonyms: manipulation
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    mind game
    deliberate actions of calculated psychological manipulation intended to intimidate or confuse (usually for competitive advantage)
    type of:
    causing something without any direct or apparent effort
  5. noun
    (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property
    “we were given the use of his boat”
    synonyms: enjoyment
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    fair use
    the conditions under which you can use material that is copyrighted by someone else without paying royalties
    enjoyment derived from use or possession
    type of:
    legal right
    a right based in law
  6. noun
    (economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing
    synonyms: consumption, economic consumption, usance, use of goods and services
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    conspicuous consumption
    buying expensive services and products in order to flaunt your wealth
    type of:
    the ability and desire to purchase goods and services
  7. noun
    (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
    “long use had hardened him to it”
    synonyms: habit
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    stereotyped behavior
    second nature
    acquired behavior that is practiced so long it seems innate
    the habit of keeping free of superficial imperfections
    type of:
    custom, usage, usance
    accepted or habitual practice
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘use'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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