us·age (ysĭj, -zĭj)
a. The act, manner, or amount of using; use: patterns of computer usage; an instrument that measures water usage.
b. The act or manner of treating; treatment: subjected the car to rough usage.
a. Habitual or accepted practice: customs that have faded from common usage.
b. A usual, habitual, or accepted practice: manners and other social usages.
a. 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).
b. A particular expression in speech or writing: a nonce usage.
[Middle English, from Old French, from us, from Latin ūsus, from past participle of ūtī, to use.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.