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use - definition and synonyms


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verb use pronunciation in British English /juːz/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleusing
past tenseused
past participleused
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to do something using a machine, tool, skill, method etc in order to do a job or to achieve a result
    Using a computer is so much quicker.
    What type of soap do you use?
    Using all his charm, he managed to persuade them.
    use something for something: Psychological tests are used for selection purposes.
    use something for doing something: Methane gas is used for heating and generating power.
    use something as something: I had to use a ski as a tent pole.
    use something as an excuse/reason: They used the recession as an excuse to get rid of workers.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to get a benefit for yourself from something that is available to you
    Only about 30 people regularly use the bus service.
  3. 3
    [transitive] to take an amount from a supply of something in order to do a job or to achieve a result
    You’ve used all the hot water again.
    Most of that paint was used on the kitchen.
  4. 4
    [transitive] to treat someone in an unfair way, for example by pretending to care about them so that they do what you want
    You know he’s just using you.
    use someone for your own ends (=to get what you want): Liz has always used people for her own ends.
  5. 5
    [transitive] to say or write particular words
    Don’t use language like that in front of your little brother.
    use something to do something: McClaren used the same words to describe his feelings.
  6. 7
    [intransitive/transitive] to take illegal drugs regularly
    In jail, he continued to deal and use drugs.
    She’s using again.


phrasal verbs


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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