To utilize is to use what you have or what's available, and it's a three-syllable word meaning the same thing as the one-syllable "use."

The word utilize is often a more formal way to express "putting something to use." If you don’t have time to go to the store but you need to come up with a science project, you might utilize what's already in the kitchen. Most of the time you can use the verb use as a synonym for utilize. You can utilize a shorter word to make a sentence easier to read.

Definitions of utilize
  1. verb
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    “How do you utilize this tool?”
    synonyms: apply, employ, use, utilise
    apply, practice, use
    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
    seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage
    exploit a skill or resource in order to get something of greater value
  2. verb
    convert (from an investment trust to a unit trust)
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    type of:
    change, commute, convert, exchange
    exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
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