Use vs. Usage: What's the Difference?
"Use" refers to the act of employing something, while "Usage" denotes the manner or the amount of using something over time.
"Use" and "Usage" might seem similar but they have distinct nuances. "Use" is a term that refers broadly to the act of employing or utilizing something for a purpose or function. On the other hand, "Usage" refers specifically to the way in which words are used in language, or the continual use of something, often over a period of time.
"Use" is a versatile word, applicable in various contexts where something is being employed for a function, be it a tool, a concept, or a space. "Usage," however, often implies a customary, habitual, or accepted manner of using something, and is particularly common in linguistic and technical contexts.
"Use" implies an action, something that we do with objects, ideas, or skills. It's a general term, indicating the application of something for a purpose. "Usage" is more about the customary practice or operational aspects, often highlighting the frequency, manner, or context in which something is used.
"Use" carries a sense of immediacy or specific instance of employing something — it's tied directly to the act. "Usage" suggests a more prolonged or habitual pattern, indicating a standard process or a set of established conditions under which something is used.
Both "Use" and "Usage" carry implications beyond the simple act of employing an object or concept. "Use" can suggest exploitation or utilization in a beneficial manner, while "Usage" often carries connotations of tradition, habit, or established procedure.
Act of employing something
Manner or amount of using something
Customary, linguistic, or technical use
Immediate, specific instance
Prolonged, habitual pattern
Functional, purposeful action
Established practice, tradition
Broad, applicable in various situations
Specific, often related to manner
Use and Usage Definitions
To employ for some purpose.
I use a brush to paint.
The act of using.
His usage of the car is limited to weekends.
To avail oneself of; apply to one's own purposes.
Can I use your phone?
The way something is used.
The word has a different usage in modern English.
To treat or behave toward.
She didn’t use him fairly.
An instance of using.
This tool has seen heavy usage.
To put into service or employ for a purpose
I used a whisk to beat the eggs. The song uses only three chords.
Habitual or customary practice.
Her usage is to work out in the morning.
To avail oneself of; practice
The amount of something that is used.
The electricity usage goes up in summer.
To conduct oneself toward; treat or handle
"the peace offering of a man who once used you unkindly" (Laurence Sterne).
The act, manner, or amount of using; use
Patterns of computer usage.
An instrument that measures water usage.
To seek or achieve an end by means of; exploit
Used their highly placed friends to gain access to the president.
Felt he was being used by seekers of favor.
The act or manner of treating; treatment
Subjected the car to rough usage.
To take or consume for a purpose
She used her savings to buy a computer.
Habitual or accepted practice
Customs that have faded from common usage.
To partake of, especially as a habit
She rarely uses alcohol.
A usual, habitual, or accepted practice
Manners and other social usages.
(ys, yst) Used in the past tense followed by to in order to indicate a former state, habitual practice, or custom
Mail service used to be faster.
The way in which words or phrases are actually used, spoken, or written in a speech community
"Dictionaries are but the depositories of words already legitimated by usage" (Thomas Jefferson).
(Slang) To take an illegal or narcotic drug, especially as a habit.
A particular expression in speech or writing
A nonce usage.
The act of using something; the application or employment of something for a purpose
With the use of a calculator.
Skilled in the use of the bow and arrow.
The condition or fact of being used
A chair in regular use.
A custom or established practice.
The manner of using; usage
Learned the proper use of power tools.
(uncountable) Custom, tradition.
The permission, privilege, or benefit of using something
Gave us the use of their summerhouse.
The power or ability to use something
Lost the use of one arm.
The act of using something; use, employment.
The need or occasion to use or employ something
I have no use for these old clothes.
The established custom of using language; the ways and contexts in which spoken and written words are used, especially by a certain group of people or in a certain region.
The quality of being suitable or adaptable to an end; usefulness
I tried to be of use in the kitchen.
Action towards someone; treatment, especially in negative sense.
A purpose for which something is used
A tool with several uses.
A pretty bowl, but of what use is it?.
The act of using; mode of using or treating; treatment; conduct with respect to a person or a thing; as, good usage; ill usage; hard usage.
My brotherIs prisoner to the bishop here, at whose handsHe hath good usage and great liberty.
Gain or advantage; good
There's no use in discussing it. What's the use?.
Manners; conduct; behavior.
A gentle nymph was found,Hight Astery, excelling all the crewIn courteous usage.
Accustomed or usual procedure or practice
"We are but creatures of use and custom" (Mark Twain).
Long-continued practice; customary mode of procedure; custom; habitual use; method.
It has now been, during many years, the grave and decoroususage of Parliaments to hear, in respectful silence, all expressions, acceptable or unacceptable, which are uttered from the throne.
A particular custom or practice
Uses introduced by recent immigrants.
Customary use or employment, as of a word or phrase in a particular sense or signification.
Enjoyment of property, as by occupying or employing it.
In eld [old age] is both wisdom and usage.
The benefit or profit of lands and tenements of which the legal title is vested in another.
The act of using;
He warned against the use of narcotic drugs
Skilled in the utilization of computers
The arrangement establishing the equitable right to such benefits and profits.
Accepted or habitual practice
A liturgical form practiced in a particular church, ecclesiastical district, or community.
The act of using.
The use of torture has been condemned by the United Nations.
(uncountable) The act of consuming alcohol or narcotics.
What's the use of a law that nobody follows?
A function; a purpose for which something may be employed.
This tool has many uses.
Occasion or need to employ; necessity.
I have no further use for these textbooks.
Interest for lent money; premium paid for the use of something; usury.
(archaic) Continued or repeated practice; usage; habit.
(obsolete) Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
(Christianity) The special form of ritual adopted for use in any diocese.
The Sarum, or Canterbury, use; the Hereford use; the York use; the Roman use; etc.
(forging) A slab of iron welded to the side of a forging, such as a shaft, near the end, and afterward drawn down, by hammering, so as to lengthen the forging.
To utilize or employ.
(transitive) To employ; to apply; to utilize.
Use this knife to slice the bread.
We can use this mathematical formula to solve the problem.
To expend; to consume by employing.
I used the money they allotted me.
We should use up most of the fuel.
She used all the time allotted to complete the test.
(transitive) To exploit.
You never cared about me; you just used me!
(transitive) To consume (alcohol, drugs, etc), especially regularly.
He uses cocaine. I have never used drugs.
(intransitive) To consume a previously specified substance, especially a drug to which one is addicted.
Richard began experimenting with cocaine last year; now he uses almost every day.
To benefit from; to be able to employ or stand.
I could use a drink. My car could use a new coat of paint.
To accustom; to habituate. Now common only in participial form. Uses the same pronunciation as the noun; see usage notes.
To become accustomed, to accustom oneself.
To suggest, request, demand or expect that other people use a specific set of gender pronouns when referring to the subject.
I use they/them pronouns.
To habitually do; to be wont to do. (Now chiefly in past-tense forms; see used to.)
I used to get things done.
(dated) To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat.
To use an animal cruelly
To behave, act, comport oneself.
The act of employing anything, or of applying it to one's service; the state of being so employed or applied; application; employment; conversion to some purpose; as, the use of a pen in writing; his machines are in general use.
Books can never teach the use of books.
This Davy serves you for good uses.
When he framedAll things to man's delightful use.
Occasion or need to employ; necessity; as, to have no further use for a book.
Yielding of service; advantage derived; capability of being used; usefulness; utility.
God made two great lights, great for their useTo man.
'T is use alone that sanctifies expense.
Continued or repeated practice; customary employment; usage; custom; manner; habit.
Let later age that noble use envy.
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Common occurrence; ordinary experience.
O Cæsar! these things are beyond all use.
The special form of ritual adopted for use in any diocese; as, the Sarum, or Canterbury, use; the Hereford use; the York use; the Roman use; etc.
From henceforth all the whole realm shall have but one use.
The premium paid for the possession and employment of borrowed money; interest; usury.
Thou art more obliged to pay duty and tribute, use and principal, to him.
The benefit or profit of lands and tenements. Use imports a trust and confidence reposed in a man for the holding of lands. He to whose use or benefit the trust is intended shall enjoy the profits. An estate is granted and limited to A for the use of B.
A stab of iron welded to the side of a forging, as a shaft, near the end, and afterward drawn down, by hammering, so as to lengthen the forging.
To make use of; to convert to one's service; to avail one's self of; to employ; to put a purpose; as, to use a plow; to use a chair; to use time; to use flour for food; to use water for irrigation.
Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs.
Some other means I have which may be used.
To behave toward; to act with regard to; to treat; as, to use a beast cruelly.
How wouldst thou use me now?
Cato has used me ill.
To practice customarily; to make a practice of; as, to use diligence in business.
Use hospitality one to another.
To accustom; to habituate; to render familiar by practice; to inure; - employed chiefly in the passive participle; as, men used to cold and hunger; soldiers used to hardships and danger.
I am so used in the fire to blow.
Thou with thy compeers,Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels.
I would, my son, that thou wouldst use the powerWhich thy discretion gives thee, to controlAnd manage all.
To study nature will thy time employ:Knowledge and innocence are perfect joy.
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."
They use to place him that shall be their captain on a stone.
Fears use to be represented in an imaginary.
Thus we use to say, it is the room that smokes, when indeed it is the fire in the room.
Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it without the camp.
To be accustomed to go; to frequent; to inhabit; to dwell; - sometimes followed by of.
He useth every day to a merchant's house.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers useOf shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks.
The act of using;
He warned against the use of narcotic drugs
Skilled in the utilization of computers
A particular service;
He put his knowledge to good use
Patrons have their uses
What something is used for;
The function of an auger is to bore holes
Ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
(economics) the utilization of economic goods to satisfy needs or in manufacturing;
The consumption of energy has increased steadily
A pattern of behavior acquired through frequent repetition;
She had a habit twirling the ends of her hair
Long use had hardened him to it
(law) the exercise of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property;
We were given the use of his boat
Exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage;
His manipulation of his friends was scandalous
Put into service; make work or employ (something) for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose;
Use your head!
We only use Spanish at home
I can't make use of this tool
Apply a magnetic field here
This thinking was applied to many projects
How do you utilize this tool?
I apply this rule to get good results
Use the plastic bags to store the food
He doesn't know how to use a computer
Take or consume (regularly or habitually);
She uses drugs rarely
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
Use up, consume fully;
The legislature expended its time on school questions
Avail oneself to;
Apply a principle
Practice a religion
Use care when going down the stairs
Use your common sense
Practice non-violent resistance
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
To expend or consume by employing.
He used his savings to start a business.
To take advantage of; exploit.
He tends to use people to achieve his own goals.
Are "Use" and "Usage" interchangeable?
No, "Use" is employing something, "Usage" is the manner/how often it's employed.
Is "Usage" related to tradition?
Often, it implies customary or habitual use.
Can "Usage" indicate frequency?
Yes, it can refer to how frequently something is used.
Does "Use" always imply a practical application?
Generally, it involves applying something for a purpose.
Is "Use" applicable to ideas?
Yes, ideas can be employed for various purposes.
Does "Usage" imply long-term patterns?
It often indicates habitual or established patterns.
Does "Use" have a temporal element?
It's more about the act than the time.
Can "Use" imply a beneficial action?
Yes, it can be for beneficial purposes.
Can "Use" indicate exploitation?
Yes, it can imply taking advantage unfairly.
Can "Use" refer to a single instance?
Yes, it can refer to a specific instance of employing.
Is "Use" active or passive?
It's active, implying an action.
Does "Use" require an object?
Typically, something is being used.
Is "Usage" specific to language?
It's common in linguistic contexts but not exclusive.
Does "Usage" reflect societal norms?
It can reflect customary practices or norms.
Can "Usage" be customary?
Yes, it often implies a customary practice.
Is "Use" broader in meaning than "Usage"?
Yes, it's more general and versatile.
Can "Usage" be technical?
Yes, especially referring to systems or tools.
Can "Use" be for a negative purpose?
It can be neutral, positive, or negative, depending on context.
Is "Usage" about the manner or method?
Generally, it refers to the way something is used.
Does "Usage" involve established procedures?
Often, it's about standard or accepted methods.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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