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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (3)

1. the act of using;
- Example: "he warned against the use of narcotic drugs"
- Example: "skilled in the utilization of computers"
[syn: use, usage, utilization, utilisation, employment, exercise]

2. accepted or habitual practice;
[syn: custom, usage, usance]

3. the customary manner in which a language (or a form of a language) is spoken or written;
- Example: "English usage"
- Example: "a usage borrowed from French"


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]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

usage n 1: the act of using; "he warned against the use of narcotic drugs"; "skilled in the utilization of computers" [syn: use, usage, utilization, utilisation, employment, exercise] 2: accepted or habitual practice [syn: custom, usage, usance] 3: the customary manner in which a language (or a form of a language) is spoken or written; "English usage"; "a usage borrowed from French"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

155 Moby Thesaurus words for "usage": acceptance, acceptation, acception, active use, adjectival phrase, antonym, appliance, application, articulation, automatism, bad habit, bon ton, care, ceremony, characteristic, choice, choice of words, clause, composition, conformity, construction, consuetude, consumption, convenance, convention, creature of habit, custodianship, custom, dialect, diction, employ, employment, established way, etiquette, exercise, exertion, expression, fashion, folkway, force of habit, form, formality, formulation, free form, good use, grammar, guidance, guiding, habit, habit pattern, habitude, handling, hard usage, hard use, headed group, homograph, homonym, homophone, idiom, idiotism, ill use, language, langue, lead, lexeme, lingo, lingua, linguistic form, locution, logos, management, manipulation, manner, manner of speaking, manners, means of dealing, metonym, minimum free form, misuse, monosyllable, mores, noun phrase, observance, operation, paragraph, parlance, parole, pattern, peculiar expression, peculiarity, period, personal usage, phrasal idiom, phrase, phraseology, phrasing, polysyllable, practice, praxis, preference, prescription, procedure, proceeding, process, proper thing, received meaning, rhetoric, ritual, rough usage, routine, second nature, sentence, set phrase, social convention, speech, standard behavior, standard phrase, standard usage, standing custom, stereotype, stereotyped behavior, stewardship, syllable, synonym, syntactic structure, talk, term, time-honored practice, tongue, tradition, treatment, trick, turn of expression, turn of phrase, use, use of words, using up, usus loquendi, utterance, verb complex, verb phrase, verbalism, verbiage, verbum, vocable, way, way of speaking, what is done, wont, wonting, word, word-group, wordage, wording, wrong use
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

USAGE. Long and uniform practice. In its most extensive meaning this term includes custom and prescription, though it differs from them in a narrower sense, it is applied to the habits, modes, and course of dealing which are observed in trade generally, as to all mercantile transactions, or to some particular branches of trade. 2. Usage of trade does not require to be immemorial to establish it; if it be known, certain, uniform, reasonable, and not contrary to law, it is sufficient. But evidence of a few instances that such a thing has been done does not establish a usage. 3 Watts, 178; 3 Wash. C. C. R. 150; 1 Gallis. 443; 5 Binn. 287; 9 Pick. 426; 4 B. & Ald. 210; 7 Pet. 1; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 7. 3. The usages of trade afford ground upon which a proper construction may be given to contracts. By their aid the indeterminate intention of parties and the nature and extent of their contracts arising from mere implications or presumptions, and act of an equivocal character may be ascertained; and the meaning of words and doubtful expressions may become known. 2 Mete. 65; 2 Sumn. 569; 2 G. & J. 136; 13 Pick. 182; Story on Ag. Sec. 77; 2 Kent, Com. 662, 3d ed.; 5 Wheat. 326; 2 Car. & P. 525; 3 B. & Ald. 728; Park. on Ins. 30; 1 Marsh. Ins. 186, n. 20; 1 Caines, 45 Gilp. 356, 486; 1 Edw. Ch. R. 146; 1 N. & M. 519; 15 Mass. 433; 1 Rill, R. 270; Wright, R. 573; Pet. C. C. R. 230; 5 Hamm. 436 6 Pet. 715; 2 Pet. 148; 6 Porter, 123 1 Hall, 612; 9 Mass. 155; 9 Wheat. 582 11 Wheat. 430; 1 Pet. 25, 89. 4. Courts will not readily adopt these usages, because they are not unfrequently founded in mistake. 2 Sumn. 377. See 3 Chitt. Pr. 55; Story, Confl. of Laws, Sec. 270; 1 Dall. 178; Vaugh. 169, 383; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

USAGE, n. The First Person of the literary Trinity, the Second and Third being Custom and Conventionality. Imbued with a decent reverence for this Holy Triad an industrious writer may hope to produce books that will live as long as the fashion.