- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Usage \Us"age\, n. [F. usage, LL. usaticum. See Use.] [1913 Webster] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] My brother Is prisoner to the bishop here, at whose hands He hath good usage and great liberty. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Manners; conduct; behavior. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] A gentle nymph was found, Hight Astery, excelling all the crew In courteous usage. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] 3. Long-continued practice; customary mode of procedure; custom; habitual use; method. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] It has now been, during many years, the grave and decorous usage of Parliaments to hear, in respectful silence, all expressions, acceptable or unacceptable, which are uttered from the throne. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 4. Customary use or employment, as of a word or phrase in a particular sense or signification. [1913 Webster] 5. Experience. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] In eld [old age] is both wisdom and usage. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Syn: Custom; use; habit. Usage: Usage, Custom. These words, as here compared, agree in expressing the idea of habitual practice; but a custom is not necessarily a usage. A custom may belong to many, or to a single individual. A usage properly belongs to the great body of a people. Hence, we speak of usage, not of custom, as the law of language. Again, a custom is merely that which has been often repeated, so as to have become, in a good degree, established. A usage must be both often repeated and of long standing. Hence, we speak of a "hew custom," but not of a "new usage." Thus, also, the "customs of society" is not so strong an expression as the "usages of society." "Custom, a greater power than nature, seldom fails to make them worship." --Locke. "Of things once received and confirmed by use, long usage is a law sufficient." --Hooker. In law, the words usage and custom are often used interchangeably, but the word custom also has a technical and restricted sense. See Custom, n., 3. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]