use


use
use n 1 Use, service, advantage, profit, account, avail can all mean a useful or valuable end, result, or purpose.
Use stresses either employment for some purpose or end of practical value
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turn every scrap of material to use

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or the practical value of the end promoted or attained
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the findings in the investigation were of little use

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sweet are the uses of adversity— Shak.

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Service, though often interchangeable with use, is especially appropriate when the reference is to persons or animals or their work or actions
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the horse was unfit for serviceScott

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render a service to a friend

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Service often implies that the result of one's act or works is beneficial
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I have done the state some service, and they know't— Shak.

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Advantage adds to use the implication of improvement or enhancement (as in value or position)
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he uses every penny to advantage

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her beauty proved to be of great advantage to her in her stage career

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Constance had never before seen him to such heroic advantageBennett

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true Wit is Nature to advantage dressed— Pope

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Profit distinctively implies reward or the rewarding character of what is attained, and often implies pecuniary gain
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the student worked hard but to no profit

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he found moral profit also in this self-study; for how, he asked, can we correct our vices if we do not know them— L. P. Smith

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coal and steel interests were merging with mutual profit— Amer. Guide Series: Pa.

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Account is used chiefly in fixed phrases
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turn his musical talent to account

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of little account

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It is sometimes interchangeable with use, advantage, or profit, but distinctively it suggests calculable value
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a book that turns to account the conclusions of other recent German theorists— Babbitt

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Sometimes it is nearly equivalent to importance
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our family . . . whose honor is of so much account to both of us— Dickens

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Avail so strongly suggests effectualness or effectiveness in the end attained that the negative idiomatic phrases in which it is often found are equivalent to ineffectual or ineffectually
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the search was of no avail

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he labored unceasingly without avail to move the rock

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he studied hard but to no avail

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Analogous words: benefit, profit (see corresponding verbs at BENEFIT): value, *worth: *function, office, duty: purpose, *intention, object
2 Use, usefulness, utility are comparable when they mean the character or the quality of serving or of being able to serve an end or purpose.
Use (see also USE 1; HABIT) is the most general or least explicit of these terms; it usually implies little more than suitability for employment for some purpose stated or implied
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our gymnasium ... is of excellent use, and all my girls exercise in it— Meredith

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she said she would have saved the pieces had they been of any use

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Usefulness, on the other hand, is employed chiefly with reference to definite concrete things that serve or are capable of serving a practical purpose Remonstrated the usefulness of his device
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her [the cat's] sacred character was in no wise impaired by her usefulnessRepplier

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libraries have moved into that wider area of usefulness which today makes them one of the most effective instruments for ensuring a democratic way of life— Collier's Yr. Bk.

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Utility, which comes very close to usefulness, may be preferred in technical, economic, and philosophical speech or writing, where it is often regarded as a property that can be measured or altered (as in quantity or quality) or that can be viewed as an abstraction
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the extent to which the price of motorcars per unit of utility has fallen— Schumpeter

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in economics production is simply the creation of utility . . . adding some kind of utility to raw materials so that they will satisfy consumers' wants— Goodman & Moore

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universities exist for two purposes; on the one hand, to train men and women for certain professions; on the other hand, to pursue learning and research without regard to immediate utilityRussell

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Analogous words: applicability, relevance, pertinence (see corresponding adjectives at RELEVANT): suitability, fitness, appropriateness (see corresponding adjectives at FIT)
3 wont, practice, usage, custom, *habit, habitude
Analogous words: *form, usage: rite, ceremony, formality (see FORM n)
Use vb Use, employ, utilize, apply, avail can all mean to deal with something so as to give it a practical value or to make it serviceable to oneself or others.
One uses a thing, or a person when regarded as a passive object, as a means or instrument to the accomplishment of a purpose or as an aid to the attainment of an end; the thing may be concrete
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use a hoe in cultivating

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used a dictionary to build up his vocabulary

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use a person as a tool

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or it may be abstract
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use patience in dealing with children

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use discretion in investing money

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the way to learn to use words is to read some good literature often and carefully— Russell

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his sense of being used rose suddenly above the treacherous sympathy he had begun to feel for her— Tarkington

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One employs a person or thing that is idle, inactive, or not in use, when he puts him or it to work or finds a profitable use for him or it
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she had... employed her leisure in reading every book that came in her way— Shaw

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the student crammed full of knowledge which he cannot employGrandgent

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craftsmen were finding in the new land raw materials on which they could employ all their artistry— Amer. Guide Series: Pa.

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Although use and employ are often interchanged, there can be a perceptible difference in meaning: wherever the idea of serving as the means or instrument is uppermost, use is likely to be preferred; wherever the idea of engaging or selecting, of keeping occupied or busy, or of turning to account is uppermost, employ is the desirable and often the necessary choice; thus, a writer uses words effectively who knows what ones he should employ in a given context; a teacher often uses his pupils as monitors when he should keep them employed in study.
One utilizes something when he finds a profitable use for it or discovers how to employ it for a practical purpose
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he even tried to figure out a way to utilize the small limbs cut from the tops of the trees— Anderson

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charged against him that he utilized his military office for private gain— R. G. Adams

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One applies something when he brings it into contact or into relation with something else where it will prove its usefulness or acquire practical value. This suggestion of making a connection or bringing into contact is strong in all senses of apply (see also DIRECT, RESORT); in the present sense it can not only affect the construction but can even obscure the implication of usefulness; thus, one uses a mustard plaster to relieve a chest pain, but one applies a mustard plaster to the chest. The same implication distinguishes apply from the other words when the idea of usefulness is stressed; thus, one who knows how to employ words reveals his ability to select those words that express his exact meaning, no more and no less, but one who knows how to apply words reveals his ability to use them relevantly, that is, in reference to the things or ideas with which they are idiomatically associated foreigners learning English find difficulty in applying certain words and phrases (as evening dress and nightdress, tool and instrument, or bad and naughty))
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our own word virtue is applied only to moral qualities; but the Greek word which we so translate should properly be rendered "excellence," and includes a reference to the body as well as to the soul— Dickinson

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The implication of a useful or definite end is strongest in apply when the word carries the further suggestion of relating what is general or theoretical to what is particular or concrete, for some such practical purpose as identification
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we can discover if this fabric is woolen by applying specific tests

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or clarification of a problem
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before forming an opinion, the judges must Know what laws apply to the particular case

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or invention
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most modern inventions and discoveries are the result of a fresh outlook in applying the laws of physics and chemistry

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the law does all that is needed when it does all that it can, indicates a policy, applies it to all within the lines, and seeks to bring within the lines all similarly situated— Justice Holmes

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it is a test which we may apply to all figure painters—a test which will often discover the secret of unsatisfactory design—if we ask whether the figures are really occupied by what they are doing— Binyon

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One avails (oneself of) something or someone that is at hand or is offered by using it or him to one's own benefit or advantage
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far from resenting such tutelage I am only too glad to avail myself of it— Shaw

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takes us . . . into the consciousness of his characters, and in order to do so, he has availed himself of methods of which Flaubert never dreamed— Edmund Wilson

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Analogous words: *handle, manipulate, ply, wield: *practice, exercise

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • use — use …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • usé — usé …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • use — 1 / yüs/ n 1 a: an arrangement in which property is granted to another with the trust and confidence that the grantor or another is entitled to the beneficial enjoyment of it see also trust; statute of uses in the important laws section ◇ Uses… …   Law dictionary

  • Use — Use, n. [OE. us use, usage, L. usus, from uti, p. p. usus, to use. See {Use}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act of employing anything, or of applying it to one s service; the state of being so employed or applied; application; employment;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • usé — usé, ée [ yze ] adj. • 1508; « accoutumé, usité » 1165; de user 1 ♦ Altéré par un usage prolongé, par des actions physiques. ⇒ détérioré; vieux. Vêtements, tissus usés. ⇒ avachi, déchiré, déformé, défraîchi, fatigué, mûr, 2. râpé. Loc. Usé jusqu… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Use — Use, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Used}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Using}.] [OE. usen, F. user to use, use up, wear out, LL. usare to use, from L. uti, p. p. usus, to use, OL. oeti, oesus; of uncertain origin. Cf. {Utility}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To make use of; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • use — [yo͞oz; ] for n. [ yo͞os] vt. used [yo͞ozd; ] with [ “] to [, ] usually [ yo͞os′tə] using [ME usen < OFr user < VL * usare < L usus, pp. of uti, to use] 1. to put or bring into action or service; employ for or apply to a given purpose 2 …   English World dictionary

  • usé — usé, ée (u zé, zée) part. passé d user. 1°   Qui a subi détérioration, diminution par l usage, par le frottement. Sur cette pierre usée un lugubre flambeau Semble de son feu pâle éclairer un tombeau, M. J. CHÉN., Fénelon, II, 3 De quel éclat… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Use — Use, v. i. 1. To be wont or accustomed; to be in the habit or practice; as, he used to ride daily; now disused in the present tense, perhaps because of the similarity in sound, between use to, and used to. [1913 Webster] They use to place him… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Use Me — may be:* The Use Me EP Songs and single song recordings: * Use Me (Bill Withers song), 1972 song by Bill Withers * Use Me (Ron Kenoly song), c. 1994 Gospel song by Ron Kenoly * Use Me (Garbage song), c. 2002 song by Garbage * Use Me (Kid… …   Wikipedia


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