Use Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary (2023)

1 use

/ˈjuːz/

verb

uses;

used;

using

1 use

/ˈjuːz/

verb

uses;

used;

using

Britannica Dictionary definition of USE

1

[+ object]

:

to do something with (an object, machine, person, method, etc.) in order to accomplish a task, do an activity, etc.

  • I need to use the phone when you're done.

  • The machine is easy to use.

  • After the accident, she could no longer use her legs.

  • We use only organic fertilizers on our farm.

  • They make paper using traditional Japanese methods.

  • He used his time there well/wisely.

  • Don't use that kind of language with me! [=don't talk to me in that way]

  • Will you use [=hire, employ] a contractor or oversee the construction of the house yourself?

  • Which accountant/bank do you use?

  • Maybe if we use our heads [=think carefully], we can figure this out.

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often followed by to + verb

  • Use this knife to cut the bread.

  • More and more people are using the Internet to find/get information.

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often + for

  • She used the money for college.

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often + as

  • We use that room as an office.

  • The word “place” can be used as a noun or verb.

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2

[+ object]

:

to take (something) from a supply in order to function or to do a task

  • a new kind of light bulb that uses very little electricity

  • Did you use all the eggs?

    (Video) Dictionary definition Meaning

  • Who used the last match?

  • The car uses a lot of gas.

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often + up

  • Did you use up all the eggs?

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3

[+ object]

used to say that something is needed or to ask if something is needed or wanted

usually used with can or could

  • Can you use this lamp? I don't want it anymore.

  • The house could use [=it needs] a coat of paint.

  • You look like you could use some sleep. [=you look like you need to sleep; you look tired]

  • I sure could use some help.

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4

a

[+ object]

:

to eat, drink, etc., (something) regularly

  • I don't use [=(more commonly) take] sugar in my tea.

  • She stopped using alcohol/drugs a year ago.

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b

[no object]

informal

:

to take illegal drugs regularly

  • How long has he been using?

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5

[+ object]

a

:

to treat (someone) well in order to get something for yourself

  • I realized that she was just using me (for my money).

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b

:

to treat (someone who is generous or helpful) unfairly

  • I'd been driving them all over the place, and I was beginning to feel used.

    (Video) This Man Can Pronounce Every Word in the Dictionary

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use up

[phrasal verb]

use up (something)

or

use (something) up

:

to take (all of something) from a supply

  • She quickly used up (all of) her inheritance.

  • Don't shower too long and use up (all) the hot water.

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see also 1use 2 (above)

see also used, used to

2 use

/ˈjuːs/

noun

plural

uses

2 use

/ˈjuːs/

noun

plural

uses

Britannica Dictionary definition of USE

1

[noncount]

a

:

the act of using something

  • The knife has become dull from constant use. [=from being used very often over a period of time]

  • Two players were suspended for illegal drug use.

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often + of

  • The law requires the use of seat belts. [=the law requires people to wear seat belts]

  • We talked about the author's use of irony in the novel.

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b

:

the state of being used

(Video) Getting the Meaning of Words Using a Dictionary

  • All of the computers are currently in use. [=are currently being used]

  • When did the word first come into use? [=when was the word first used?]

  • Typewriters have practically gone out of use. [=almost no people use typewriters anymore]

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2

a

[count]

:

a way in which something is or can be used

  • This tool has many uses. [=you can do many things with this tool]

  • Doctors have found a new use for the drug.

  • According to the dictionary, the word has two uses.

  • The technique has its uses [=the technique is useful in some ways], but better methods are available.

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b

[singular]

:

a way to use something or someone

usually + for

  • I thought you might be able to find a use for this lamp. [=I thought that you might be able to use this lamp for some purpose]

  • Thanks for volunteering. I'm sure we'll be able to find a use for someone with your skills and experience.

  • Do you have a/any use for this old computer?

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3

[noncount]

:

the opportunity or right to use something

  • She gave me the use of her car [=she allowed me to use her car] while she was away.

  • The pool is for the use of hotel guests only. [=only hotel guests are allowed to swim in the pool]

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4

[noncount]

used to say that something or someone is or is not helpful or useful

  • It's too small to be of use.

  • I don't think that dreams are of much use in predicting the future. [=I don't think that dreams help people predict the future]

  • Go home and rest. You're no use to us if you're sick. [=you cannot help us if you're sick]

  • He's been of no use at all to me. [=he hasn't helped me at all]

  • I felt that I could be of some use to her. [=that I could help her in some way]

  • There's no use (in) worrying about the past. [=worrying about the past will not help, make anything better, etc.]

  • “You should talk to her.” “What's the use? [=talking to her will not help] She's not going to change her mind.”

  • What's the use of trying? It won't help.

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5

(Video) Why is the dictionary definition for 'woman' controversial?

[noncount]

:

the ability or power to use something

+ of

  • He lost (the) use of his legs in a car accident.

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have no use for

or

not have any use for

:

to not like or value (someone or something)

  • I have no use for such rude people.

  • I'm a logical person. I have no use for sentimentality.

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it's no use

used to say that something you have tried to do cannot be done

  • It's no use—the door won't open.

  • We tried our hardest, but it was no use.

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make use of

:

to use (something)

  • She made use of the money to pay for college.

  • He tried to make good/better use of his spare time. [=he tried to use it in a better and more productive way]

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put (something) to (good) use

:

to use (something) in an effective way

  • I'm looking forward to putting my new skills to use. [=to using my new skills; to doing what I have just learned to do]

  • Thanks for the donation. We'll put it to good use. [=we'll do something good with it]

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(Video) Cambridge Dictionary updates definition of the word 'woman' | Laurence Fox discusses

FAQs

What is the use of a definition? ›

The purpose of a definition is to explain the meaning of a term which may be obscure or difficult, by the use of terms that are commonly understood and whose meaning is clear. The violation of this rule is known by the Latin term obscurum per obscurius.

What is the correct meaning of definition? ›

: a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol. dictionary definitions. : a statement expressing the essential nature of something.

What are the three types of dictionary? ›

There are many different types of dictionaries. The three main types are monolingual, bilingual, and bilingualized. There are also thesauruses, which are not dictionaries but are closely related. A monolingual dictionary gives definitions of words in a single language.

What is a dictionary and its uses? ›

A dictionary can be used to look up the meaning of a word. You can also use a dictionary to check the spelling of a word. Dictionaries may also give other information about words, such as word type and word origin.

What are the 4 types of definition? ›

Here are just four among the many types of definitions: (1) Definition by synonym; (2) Ostensive definitions; (3) Stipulative definitions, and. (4) Analytical definitions.

Why do you need a definition? ›

Definitions are useful in practically any field. They help us think and communicate more clearly, which in turn help us understand our businesses (our customers, our product, our processes, our value-proposition, etc) better.

What is another word for definition? ›

Words related to define

characterize, construe, decide, delineate, describe, designate, detail, determine, exemplify, explain, illustrate, interpret, prescribe, represent, specify, spell out, distinguish, establish, limit, mark.

How do I find a word definition? ›

use word parts (roots, prefixes, and suffixes) to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word. use context clues to confirm the meaning of an unfamiliar word. use a graphic organizer to achieve a deeper understanding of specific vocabulary words.

How do you find a definition? ›

Basic definitions of words are found in dictionaries, while scholarly definitions typically come from scholarly journal articles or books.
...
Basic Definitions
  1. Webster's New World Medical Dictionary.
  2. The AMA Dictionary of Business and Management.
  3. Dictionary of Social Work.
Jan 15, 2022

What are the 5 types of definitions? ›

Definitions
  • 1.1 Real and nominal definitions.
  • 1.2 Dictionary definitions.
  • 1.3 Stipulative definitions.
  • 1.4 Descriptive definitions.
  • 1.5 Explicative definitions.
  • 1.6 Ostensive definitions.
  • 1.7 A remark.
Apr 10, 2008

What is the best dictionary for definitions? ›

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

How do you read a dictionary definition? ›

Interpret a dictionary entry using the following steps:
  • Pronounce the word in syllables using the diacritical marks as a guide.
  • Note the part or parts of speech of the word and any related words.
  • Read the definitions.

What is a dictionary definition in writing? ›

: a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactic and idiomatic uses.

What are the benefits of using a dictionary? ›

1. Nation (2008) points out that dictionary can help the learners in three major ways : 1) They can help learners understand words that they meet in reading and listening. 2) They can help learners find words that they need for speaking and writing. 3) They can help learners remember words.

What are the three main of a definition? ›

A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined. The class of object or concept to which the term belongs. The differentiating characteristics that distinguish it from all others of its class.

What are the three main parts of a definition? ›

All definitions have three parts: term being defined, classification and identifying characteristic(s). In order to learn, understand, and use the definition of a term, it is necessary to identify the three parts of a definition.

What are the two distinct methods of definition? ›

We introduce two kinds of definition: definition relative to an approximate theory and second order structural definition and apply them to defining mental qualities.

What are the types of definition? ›

This lesson will introduce you to the three different types of definitions: formal, informal, and extended.
  • Formal Definitions. A formal definition. ...
  • Informal Definitions. In an informal definition. ...
  • Extended Definitions. Extended definitions.

Why do definitions matter? ›

One of the reasons that it is important to understand why definitions matter is because the way we define things helps determine how we think about them. And how we think about things can affect how we act.

What are the qualities of a good definition? ›

The characteristics of a good definition are to classify your term (what is that you are describing), differentiate your term (what makes it different than everything else), and test your definition (have you looked for a counterexample?).

Is definition and meaning the same? ›

Definition is the statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially as given in a dictionary. Meaning explains a word or concept in a very general sense. This is the main difference between definition and meaning. Both meaning and definition help us to understand what is inferred by a word.

What is the verb form of definition? ›

define. he/she/it. defines. present participle. defining.

How do you include a definition of a word in a sentence? ›

The definition should be enclosed in quotation marks. Some examples: Pendulous can mean “hanging down loosely,” “swinging freely,” or “wavering.”

How do you teach the word definition? ›

Use explicit instruction to teach the word parts, such as prefixes and suffixes, to help define the word. If students are reading on their own or with a partner, encourage them to “hunt” for the words before reading. Hunting for these words first can reduce distractions later when the focus is on reading the text.

Is there a website for finding words from definitions? ›

OneLook lets you find any kind of word for any kind of writing. Like a traditional thesaurus, you can use it to find synonyms and antonyms, but it's far more flexible. Describe what you're looking for with a single word, a few words, or even a whole sentence.

What is a good source for definitions? ›

Dictionary.com is one of the best online dictionaries for English. It provides English definitions, synonyms, word origins, audio pronunciations, examples, slang phrases, idioms and so much more. If you are looking for word synonyms, thesaurus.com is a way to go. Thesaurus.com is a part of dictionary.com.

What is the best source for definitions? ›

Here are ten of the very best online dictionaries.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • The Free Dictionary.
  • Merriam-Webster Online.
  • Cambridge Dictionary Online.
  • Visuwords.
  • Wordia.
  • NetLingo.
  • Urban Dictionary.

How do you start a definition? ›

You need to clearly state what your word is along with its traditional or dictionary definition in your introductory paragraph. By opening with the dictionary definition of your term, you create context and a basic level of knowledge about the word. This will allow you to introduce and elaborate on your own definition.

What are the seven types of meaning? ›

The result of this research confirmed that there are seven types of meaning based on Leech's theory, namely conceptual, connotative, collocative, reflective, affective, social, and thematic. A novelty that this present study found is that the seven types of meaning have variations in their descriptions.

What are key terms and definitions? ›

Key Terms means the portion of a Cover Page that includes the key legal details and definitions for this Agreement that are not defined in the Standard Terms. The Key Terms may include details about Covered Claims, set the Governing Law, or contain other details about this Agreement.

What is a list of word definitions called? ›

A glossary (from Ancient Greek: γλῶσσα, glossa; language, speech, wording) also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms.

What is the most commonly used dictionary? ›

More than a dictionary, the OED is a comprehensive guide to current and historical word meanings in English. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely accepted as the most complete record of the English language ever assembled.

What is the most popular dictionary in America? ›

Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's most-trusted online dictionary.

Which dictionary is easiest to understand? ›

Merriam-Webster

This awesome feature is perfect for when you hear a word you don't understand. You can look it up even if you're not sure how it's written. Merriam-Webster is a well-known dictionary, and has high-quality definitions—all available offline.

What is the best dictionary for beginners? ›

Best English Online Dictionaries for Beginners
  • Macmillan Dictionary.
  • Cambridge Dictionary.
  • Collins Dictionary.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  • Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.
  • Oxford Learner's Dictionaries.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • The Bottom Line.
Jan 10, 2022

What is the difference between Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionary? ›

The two dictionaries have different philosophies on how something gets in, as Sokolowski explained to the editors' group. Merriam-Webster is “synchronic,” meaning it concentrates on current, active vocabulary. The OED is “diachronic,” written from a historical perspective.

What are three things a dictionary tells you about a word? ›

In addition to its basic function of defining words, a dictionary may provide information about their pronunciation, grammatical forms and functions, etymologies, syntactic peculiarities, variant spellings, and antonyms.

Can I use dictionary definitions in my book? ›

Sep 23, 2021 28887. You do not always need to cite and reference a dictionary definition. Whether you need to or not will depend on the type of dictionary and/or how you are using the definition in your work.

Can you use dictionary definitions in academic writing? ›

Do not use dictionary definitions in papers, unless you're writing a paper about dictionaries. A word of advice to all students: in almost every subject, no matter what some teacher told you years ago, do not ever waste your time or words repeating a dictionary definition in an academic paper.

Can I use a definition in an essay? ›

You need to clearly state what your word is along with its traditional or dictionary definition in your introductory paragraph. By opening with the dictionary definition of your term, you create context and a basic level of knowledge about the word.

What is a dictionary give an example? ›

The dictionary is an unordered collection that contains key:value pairs separated by commas inside curly brackets. Dictionaries are optimized to retrieve values when the key is known. The following declares a dictionary object. Example: Dictionary.

What are the four features of dictionary? ›

They are essential for using dictionaries efficiently and appropriately.
  • Dictionaries are unordered. A dictionary contains key-value pairs but does not possess an order for the pairs. ...
  • Keys are unique. Dictionary keys must be unique. ...
  • Keys must be immutable. ...
  • Dictionary comprehension.
May 19, 2021

What is the disadvantage of using dictionary? ›

The Limitations of Dictionaries

Dictionaries are therefore always at least slightly out of date and inaccurate in their descriptions of the language's stock of words. In addition, the use of many words is restricted to specific domains.

How can I improve my dictionary skills? ›

To that end, the time you spend improving your vocabulary skills is actually time invested in your writing skills.
...
7 Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary
  1. Develop a reading habit. ...
  2. Use the dictionary and thesaurus. ...
  3. Play word games. ...
  4. Use flashcards. ...
  5. Subscribe to “word of the day” feeds.
Aug 23, 2021

What is the use of definition in writing? ›

The primary reason to include definitions in your writing is to avoid misunderstanding with your audience. A formal definition consists of three parts: The term (word or phrase) to be defined. The class of object or concept to which the term belongs.

What is the definition for the use of a semicolon? ›

A semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought. When a semicolon is used to join two or more ideas (parts) in a sentence, those ideas are then given equal position or rank.

Do you have to put a definition in quotes? ›

Do not capitalize the word unless it is a proper noun or falls at the beginning of a sentence. The definition should be enclosed in quotation marks. Some examples: Pendulous can mean “hanging down loosely,” “swinging freely,” or “wavering.”

How do you cite a definition? ›

To cite a definition within the text, you would place the institution or organizations and the date of publication in parentheses after the relevant phrase and before the punctuation mark. If the definition is quoted, you must also add the page number.

Why is definition important in writing? ›

Definitions are important because they help the reader understand your ideas. You can use definitions in all types of writing. You can quote the Webster's dictionary or another credible source, but you can also create your own unique definition, which can be equally effective.

What are the 2 types of definition write the word definition? ›

The wild thing about definitions is that there are many different types of definitions, each used to explain a particular type of concept. However, the two most general types of definitions are intensional and extensional definitions.

When should I use a semicolon example? ›

A semicolon can replace a period if the writer wishes to narrow the gap between two closely linked sentences (independent clauses). Examples: Call me tomorrow; you can give me an answer then. We have paid our dues; we expect all the privileges listed in the contract.

How do you use a semicolon (;) example? ›

A semicolon can be used to connect two closely related independent clauses (parts of a sentence that could also stand as separate sentences). My car broke down this morning; it's being fixed at the mechanic's garage now.

How do you use a semicolon in a sentence examples? ›

When to Use a Semicolon
  1. Semicolons separate items in a complex list. For example, The Council is comprised of ten members: three from Sydney, Australia; four from Auckland, New Zealand; two from Suva, Fiji; and one from Honiara, Solomon Islands.
  2. Semicolons join two closely related independent clauses.
Apr 17, 2017

What are the characteristics of a good definition? ›

The characteristics of a good definition are to classify your term (what is that you are describing), differentiate your term (what makes it different than everything else), and test your definition (have you looked for a counterexample?).

Do I have to reference a definition? ›

Sep 23, 2021 28585. You do not always need to cite and reference a dictionary definition. Whether you need to or not will depend on the type of dictionary and/or how you are using the definition in your work.

Should I cite a dictionary definition? ›

In writing, definitions form part of your work. Just like you cite sources of other information, you must cite the source of your definition. It will give your work credibility, and you also avoid the risk of plagiarism.

Should I quote or paraphrase a definition? ›

If you directly copy a sentence or phrase, you should quote it instead. Paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you put the author's ideas completely into your own words and properly reference the source.

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