American English

Definition of use noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] the act of using something; the state of being used A ban was imposed on the use of chemical weapons. The software is designed for use in schools. I'm not sure that this is the most valuable use of my time. The chapel was built in the 18th century and is still in use today. The pool is for the use of members only.
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a purpose for which something is used; a way in which something is or can be used I'm sure you'll think of a use for it. This chemical has a wide range of industrial uses. see also single-use
  3. 3[uncountable] use (of something) the right or opportunity to use something, for example something that belongs to someone else I have the use of the car this week.
  4. 4[uncountable] the ability to use your mind or body He lost the use of his legs (= became unable to walk) in an accident.
  5. Idioms
    be no use (to somebody) (formal be of no use)
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    to be useless You can throw those away — they're no use to anyone.
    be of use (to somebody) (formal)
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    to be useful Can I be of any use (= can I help)?
    come into/go out of, etc. use
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    to start/stop being used When did this word come into common use? These pesticides are gradually going out of use.
    have no use for somebody
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    to dislike someone I have no use for people who don't make an effort.
    have no use for something
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    to not need something Living underground and having little use for eyes, moles are virtually blind.
    have its/their/your uses (informal) (often humorous)
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    to be useful sometimes I know you don't like him, but he has his uses.
    it's no use (doing something), what's the use (of doing something)?
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     used to say that there is no point in doing something because it will not be successful or have a good result What's the use of worrying about it? It's no use — I can't persuade her.
    make use of something/somebody
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    to use something or someone, especially in order to get an advantage We could make better use of our resources. You should make use of your contacts.
    put something to good use
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    to be able to use something for a purpose, and get an advantage from doing so She'll be able to put her languages to good use in her new job.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: use