Use vs Utilize: Difference and Comparison

Understanding the difference between use and utiliser could help us make infamous English faux pas.

The word use and utilize both sounds similar in a sense, and also they look like versions of each other, but actually, they are not utilizing synonyms of use in verb form however, both have distinct meanings in different parts of speech.

We will see a detailed difference between both in the below sections.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Use” is a general term for employing something, while “utilize” implies maximizing the efficiency or potential of a resource.
  2. “Utilize” is more formal in tone than “use” and is employed in technical or scientific contexts.
  3. “Use” is a more versatile word, applicable in various contexts, whereas “utilize” is best reserved for specific situations.

Use vs Utilize

Use is a popular English word used to describe the act of employing something for its intended purpose or function. Utilize is a popular English word used to describe a more deliberate or strategic use of something to achieve a particular goal or objective different from what it was created for.

Use vs Utilize

The word ‘use’ is mainly used ” to experiment with something, which means to employ it for the same given purpose or we can also say to put the action to employ. It could be used both as a noun and a verb. A classic example of the verb form of “use”.

“James uses a fork to eat fruit salad.”

The word Utilize means using something for a purpose other than its sole purpose. To utilize something means to turn it into practical use. We can say that utilisation can be used when indicating that the application is beyond its original fixed purpose.

For example, “We had to utilize the football goalkeeper as a baseball keeper for a match”, as it is clear that the role of a football keeper is different, so basically, apart from the original purpose, It could be used differently. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison UseUtilize 
Definition Use means ‘to use or to employ anything for fixed or given/defined purpose. Utilizing something means giving it a new use that it may not have originally. 
OriginThe word ‘Use’ originated from the Latin word “usus”, which means to make use of. The word utilize originated from the French word “Utilizer”, Which means to use something effectively. 
PeriodThe word “use” came into the English language around 1200. The word “utilize” came into use in English around 1800.
ContextIt is used in a general context. In a scientific context, Utilize has a different meaning. 
ExampleI will use a fork to eat my grilled chickenI will utilize my dining area for meetings this Saturday.

What is Use?

The word ‘use’ originated from the Latin word “usus”, which means use, custom practice, employment, skills, habit, etc. The word came into the English language around 1200.

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Use word could be used both as a noun and verb, and it’s used in an intended job with which an item or individual is associated. We should be careful using the “use” word when it’s in context with people rather than items.

The word ‘use’ is mainly used ” to experiment with something, which means to employ it for the same given purpose, or we can also say to put the action to employ.

It is very easy to choose between use and utilize in your written English. We have to assess whether the item we’re referring to is employed in how you attribute it.

Let us make it more clear by an example with the verb form. Ex:  “James used to knife to cut the fruits”. In the above-mentioned statement, it is clear that the knife is to chop vegetables or cut fruits or any item.

Now, let’s understand the use of it in noun form with an example, Ex: “What is the point of crying over the bad marks”. Use As a noun means Purpose, whereas As a verb, it means either “put to work” or “work something until there isn’t anything left”.

use 1

What is Utilize? 

Utilize is used when it is indicated that the application being used is beyond its original form. For example, “I use a broom to clean, but I utilized it as a tool.”

Broom is used for cleaning, so here is the exact word usage. ‘Utilizing’ is used more constructively.

It is a French word derived from “utilizer”, which comes from the Latin word “ultilis”, meaning “to be usable”, or “to use”, or “to take advantage of”.

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Utilizing something means giving it a new use that it may not have originally. In a scientific context, Utilize has a different meaning.

This word came into the world of the English language in the year 1800. Use can be done in a place where nothing is normally in use. i.e. it has a special meaning, a use where the purpose is not intended, but the service continues.

Some examples:-

  • All employers must utilize their workers effectively.
  • This hall can be utilized for many purposes.
  • I utilized a few basic strategies for securing 1st position in the class.
  • One should follow a proper schedule to utilize water as a source of weight loss. 
  • I will utilize my dining area for meetings this Saturday.
utilize

Main Differences Between Use and Utilize

We get confused between the usage of word use and utilize and their context. Utilize is synonymous with use, but it could mean something different when we use it in a scientific context or when people are involved. 

The distinguishing factor between Anxiety and heart attack relations can be summed up on the following grounds.

  1. Use Means to employ any action in the way that it is originally meant, whereas the word Utilize means to employ any action for a purpose that was not originally meant for.
  2. Use can be either a noun or a verb, whereas the word Utilize is always a verb. 
  3. The use of the word came into the English language around 1200, and the word Utilize came into the English language around 1800.
  4. Use is commonly used and accepted, whereas Utilize is mostly used in a cover letters, official documents, business requirements, resumes, etc.
  5. Use is used in general context whereas. In a scientific context, Utilize has a different meaning. 
Difference Between Use and Utilize
References
  1. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/use-versus-utilize?page=all
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/b2f65f85416c8610fb297b7175b02de5/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Use vs Utilize: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The table comparing the parameters of ‘use’ and ‘utilize’ has been particularly helpful in understanding the differences between the two terms.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the detailed breakdown between the use of ‘use’ and ‘utilize’. The examples have been very enlightening.

    Reply
  3. I’ve always been intrigued by the subtle differences in words, and this post helped explain the nuances between ‘use’ and ‘utilize’ very well.

    Reply
  4. This is a very insightful article. It would be great if further scientific contexts of ‘utilize’ could be explored in a future post.

    Reply
  5. The examples have been very beneficial in understanding the context in which ‘use’ and ‘utilize’ are used. Thank you for this thorough analysis!

    Reply
  6. This article is a great resource for anyone wanting a clear distinction between the meanings of ‘use’ and ‘utilize’. Thank you for this!

    Reply
  7. I appreciate the comparisons made, and the historical context provided for both ‘use’ and ‘utilize’. It has been very illuminating.

    Reply

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