use

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.

Primary Meanings of use

1.
vn
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
the act of using
2.
vn
take or consume (regularly or habitually)
(economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing
3.
v
avail oneself to
4.
v
habitually do something (use only in the past tense)
Full Definitions of use
1

v 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
Types:
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commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
play
employ in a game or in a specific position
play
use or move
pull out all the stops
use all resources available
assign, put
attribute or give
ply
use diligently
address
address or apply oneself to something, direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
waste
use inefficiently or inappropriately
misapply, misuse
apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
avail
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
enjoy
have benefit from
take
travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route
share
use jointly or in common
put to work, work
cause to work
implement
apply in a manner consistent with its purpose or design
fall back, recur, resort
have recourse to
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
rededicate
dedicate anew
promote
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
repose
put or confide something in a person or thing
rehash
present or use over, with no or few changes
make hay
turn to one's advantage
play
use to one's advantage
harness
exploit the power of
mine
get from the earth by excavation
quarry
extract (something such as stones) from or as if from a quarry
overexploit
exploit excessively
commercialize
exploit for maximal profit, usually by sacrificing quality
milk
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
pool
combine into a common fund
communalise, communalize
make something the property of the commune or community
rack
put on a rack and pinion
exploit, overwork
work excessively hard
apply
apply oneself to

v 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”
Types:
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

n the act of using

“he warned against the use of narcotic drugs”
Synonyms:
employment, exercise, usage, utilisation, utilization
Types:
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practice
the exercise of a profession
play
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
recycling
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
consultancy
the practice of giving expert advice within a particular field
cosmetology
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
optometry
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
misapplication
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
electrification
the act of providing electricity
unitisation, unitization
the joint development of a petroleum resource that straddles territory controlled by different companies
witching
the use or practice of witchcraft
Type of:
activity
any specific behavior

n what something is used for

“ballet is beautiful but what use is it?”
Synonyms:
function, purpose, role
Types:
raison d'etre
the purpose that justifies a thing's existence
Type of:
usefulness, utility
the quality of being of practical use

n a particular service

“he put his knowledge to good use
“patrons have their uses
Type of:
usefulness, utility
the quality of being of practical use

n exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage

Synonyms:
manipulation
Types:
mind game
deliberate actions of calculated psychological manipulation intended to intimidate or confuse (usually for competitive advantage)
Type of:
influence
causing something without any direct or apparent effort

n (law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property

“we were given the use of his boat”
Synonyms:
enjoyment
Types:
fair use
the conditions under which you can use material that is copyrighted by someone else without paying royalties
fruition
enjoyment derived from use or possession
Type of:
legal right
a right based in law
2

v take or consume (regularly or habitually)

“She uses drugs rarely”
Synonyms:
habituate
Types:
drink, tope
drink excessive amounts of alcohol; be an alcoholic
board
lodge and take meals (at)
Type of:
consume, have, ingest, take, take in
serve oneself to, or consume regularly

v use up, consume fully

Synonyms:
expend
Types:
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abuse, misuse, pervert
change the inherent purpose or function of something
abuse
use wrongly or improperly or excessively
spare
use frugally or carefully
occupy, take, use up
require (time or space)
blow, squander, waste
spend thoughtlessly; throw away
fracture
violate or abuse
take in vain
use a name, such as God, without proper respect
be
spend or use time
burn
spend (significant amounts of money)

n (economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing

Synonyms:
consumption, economic consumption, usance, use of goods and services
Types:
conspicuous consumption
buying expensive services and products in order to flaunt your wealth
Type of:
demand
the ability and desire to purchase goods and services

n (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
Types:
ritual
stereotyped behavior
second nature
acquired behavior that is practiced so long it seems innate
cleanliness
the habit of keeping free of superficial imperfections
Type of:
custom, usage, usance
accepted or habitual practice
3

v 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
Types:
follow
adhere to or practice
4

v 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”
Type of:
act, move
perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

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