Use vs Usage: Difference and Comparison

Though the meaning of the two words, ‘use’ and ‘usage’ overlap to some extent, they cannot be used as synonyms.

Most people assume that ‘usage’ is a more formal form of ‘use’ and use ‘usage’ to make their written work more elegant. Knowing that both words cannot be used as synonyms is important.

Key Takeaways

  1. Use refers to utilizing something for a particular purpose or task.
  2. Usage refers to how something is used or the customary manner in which it is employed.
  3. While use is a verb, usage is a noun that denotes the frequency or manner in which something is used.

Use vs. Usage

Use refers to employing something for a particular purpose or putting something into service. For example, “I use my phone to check my emails.” Usage refers to how something is used or an accepted or prescribed way. For example, “Proper English grammar usage is important in academic writing.”

Use vs Usage
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The term ‘use’ in English is a verb and noun. Oxford Dictionary defines ‘use’ as a verb that means to hold, deploy, employ, or take something to achieve or accomplish something.

Simply put, ‘use’ refers to the employment or utilization of something for a specific purpose or function.

The term ‘usage’ in English is a noun used about a language or form of language. Most people use this noun to make their writing work elegant and sophisticated.

‘Usage’ gives any sentence a required sense of continuity.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUseUsage
Part of speechUse is both verbs as well as a nouns.Usage is a noun.
MeaningTo take, employ, deploy, or hold anything to achieve or accomplish something is called ‘Use.’ The term ‘usage’ is defined as the custom or habitual practice, especially as creating an obligation, right, or standard.
OriginThe term ‘use’ originated from the Latin word ‘uti’, which means to make use of.The term ‘usage’ is originally rooted in ‘use.’
UsageThe word ‘use’ is used in both formal and informal practices.The word ‘usage’ is used in formal practice.
ApplicationThe application of the term ‘use’ is unlimited.The application of the term ‘usage’ is limited.
ExampleI use mobile banking to avoid cash transactions. This fruit has various medicinal uses.The usage of Air conditioners spikes after May. The high level of air conditioner usage is one of the reasons for ozone layer depletion.

What is Use?

To take, employ, deploy, or hold anything to achieve or accomplish something is called ‘Use.’

The word ‘use’ can be used in several ways- treat someone in a specific way, exploit any situation for one’s advantage, apply a title to oneself, or take or concur an amount from a limited supply.

The word ‘use’ is derived from the past participle stem of the Latin word ‘uti,’ which means ‘to make use of profit by,’ ‘to take advantage of,’ or enjoy, and the old Latin word ‘oeti’ which means to employ, to exercise, and to perform something.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘use’ is commonly used as a verb that means to hold, take, or deploy something for a purpose.

A similar word to ‘use’ is utilized or employed; conversely, as a noun, ‘use’ gives several meanings. It can refer to as.

  • The state of being used for a purpose

For example- The use of solar energy can save electricity.

  • Value of benefit of something

For example- This book is of no use to English users.

  • Habitual consumption of something

For example- The use of drugs has increased in rural regions.

use

What is Usage?

The term ‘usage’ is defined as the custom or customary practice, especially as creating an obligation, right, or standard. A similar word for ‘usage’ is practice, custom, and habits.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘usage’ is most commonly used as a noun used about a language or a form of language spoken.

Most people use this noun to make their writing piece of work more attractive and elegant. It can also be used in the following instance-

  • The state of being used

For example- Since there was a water shortage, the public was asked to reduce water usage.

  • The habitual manner in which a language is spoken

For example- Different religions have different usage of this phrase.

usage

Main Differences Between Use and Usage

  1. Use is both verbs as well as a noun, while Usage is a noun.
  2. To take, employ, deploy, or hold anything to achieve or accomplish something is called ‘Use.’, The term ‘usage’ is defined as the custom practice or habitual practice, especially as creating an obligation, right, or standard.
  3. The term ‘use’ originated from the Latin word ‘uti,’ which means to make use of. On the other hand, ‘usage’ is originally rooted in the word ‘use.’
  4. The word ‘use’ is used in both formal and informal practices. Whereas, The word ‘usage’ is used in formal practice.
  5. The application of the term ‘use’ is unlimited. On the other hand, The application of the term ‘usage’ is limited.
  6. Example of ‘use’-
Difference Between Use and Usage
  • This fruit has various medicinal uses.

Example of ‘usage’-

  • The usage of Air conditioners spikes after May.
  • The high level of air conditioner usage is one of the reasons for ozone layer depletion.   
References
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1296
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/02640470910934579/full/html

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Use vs Usage: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The section on the application of ‘use’ and ‘usage’ in different contexts is quite enlightening. It’s useful for understanding the versatility of these terms in various scenarios.

  2. The detailed comparison table presents a comprehensive breakdown of the differences between ‘use’ and ‘usage’. It’s an effective way of highlighting the contrasts between the two terms.

    1. I found the table to be a succinct summary of the complexities in ‘use’ and ‘usage’. It’s a great aid for reference and clarity.

  3. It’s fascinating to see how ‘use’ and ‘usage’ have distinct meanings and applications, despite appearing similar to most people. This article makes that difference very evident.

    1. Indeed, the article expertly emphasizes the importance of precision in language. It’s a good reminder about the significance of choosing our words carefully.

  4. The article’s elucidation on the etymology of ‘use’ and ‘usage’ is particularly illuminating. It’s crucial to understand the historical context of these terms to fully grasp their usage today.

    1. I concur. Language evolution is a fascinating study, and this article touches upon it in an engaging manner.

    2. Absolutely. Delving into the origins of words offers valuable insights into their development and current meanings.

  5. While the post is informative, I can’t help but feel that it’s overly pedantic. Do the differences between ‘use’ and ‘usage’ truly warrant such an in-depth analysis?

    1. I understand your viewpoint, but the precision of language is important. It’s essential to be meticulous when conveying ideas, especially in writing.

    2. I beg to differ. The nuances between ‘use’ and ‘usage’ can significantly impact the clarity of communication. It’s a topic deserving of thorough examination.

  6. The article provides great insights into the differences between ‘use’ and ‘usage.’ I appreciate the clear and concise definition of each and how they differ in application.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. The author does an excellent job of highlighting the subtle nuances between the two terms. It’s certainly something many people overlook.

  7. The differentiation between ‘use’ and ‘usage’ is well-explained in the article. Clarity in understanding such linguistic intricacies is beneficial in effective communication.

  8. The examination of etymological origins, application, and comparison between ‘use’ and ‘usage’ is indeed an engaging and enlightening read.

  9. This post makes a compelling argument for the importance of distinguishing between ‘use’ and ‘usage’ in language. The in-depth analysis leaves little room for confusion.

    1. Indeed, the article emphasizes the necessity of linguistic accuracy, especially in written work where clarity is paramount.

    2. Absolutely. It’s crucial for precise and unambiguous expression, particularly in professional or academic contexts.

  10. While the post provides significant insights, it might come across as overly meticulous to some readers. Not everyone might place great emphasis on such finely differentiated terms.

    1. I understand that perspective. However, the article’s thoroughness adds to the understanding and appreciation of linguistic precision.

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