Middle English Dictionary Entry

ūse n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) The act of using or employing something; the fact of being used or employed; use, employment; also, the right to the use (of sth.) [last quot.]; the capacity for use (of reason) [quot. ?a1475]; (b) service;—also pl.; ben in ~, of something: to be in service, be in use, be used or employed; bringen in ~, med. bring (sth.) into the service of the body; delivered in-to ~, of a book: put into circulation; put in ~ of medicines, of a substance: used in medicines; put oute of ~, of a vice: given up, discontinued; (c) consumption; comune ~, frequent imbibing; haven in-to uses, to have (bread, wine) for (someone’s) consumption; (d) the exercise (of powers, wits, a virtue, etc.), performance (of an act, good works, calculation, etc.); execution; also, the potential for exercise or performance [quot. 1532, 2nd]; also [quot. c1425], med. ?the process of bleeding; ?a flow of blood; drauen (haven) in ~, to perform (active works), put into practice (the active life, false doctrines); (e) in selected phrases: til (to) mannes ~, for man’s use; comen in-to the ~ of bokes, to make use of books; departen (severen) in-to uses and necessaries of, separate out (tithes) for the uses and needs of (persons); kepen for (til, to) ~, preserve (sth.) for future use; maken in-to uses, occupien to ~, appropriate (sth.) for (one’s own) use; yeven for nedeful ~, give (alms to persons) for (their) urgent use.
A manner of employment or use; a manner of living, lifestyle; manner of dress, adornment; god (ille, etc.) ~.
(a) Purpose, end; also, function; also, a purpose, an end; in adj. phrase: to non ~, worthless; ben able to non ~, not ben able to ani ~, to be worthless; (b) the provision, supplying, or maintenance (of sth.); to the chirche ~, for maintenance of the church.
(a) Benefit, profit, advantage; also, enjoyment; ~ of endeles blissednesse, ~ of god (godhede), the spiritual joy experienced in communion with God, heavenly joy or bliss; (b) chiefly law the profit or benefit received by a specified person or persons or an institution deriving from lands, possessions, rents, etc.; the enjoyment of such profit or benefit; the employment or occupation of property; the use of an object as distinguished from its ownership, rental;— also pl.; ~ and (or) bihove, bihove and ~; ~ and profite; (c) imposicioun of ~, ?a surtax; ?a use tax.
Established custom on the part of a group of people, a country, etc.; common practice, common usage; a tradition or custom; also, conventional belief; customary form or technique [quot. a1500 Chartier Dial.F.& F.]; in ~, customarily; commune ~, tradition, conventional practice; ben ~, to be the custom, be customary or traditional.
Customary procedure or manner of conduct which has the force of statutory law, customary law; a tradition or custom which has the force of written law.
(a) Individual or personal habit or practice, wont; also, a personal habit, custom, or practice; a customary activity or occupation [quot. 1451, 1st]; a customary tactic or stratagem [quot. a1500(a1400), 1st]; commune ~, usual practice; oute of ~, out of practice, rusty; as hire ~ was, as was his ~, as was her (his) wont; (b) behavior, esp. sexual behavior; sexual intercourse; kindeli ~, natural intercourse, intercourse conforming to natural law; (c) in selected phrases: bringen forth wikked ~, to produce bad behavior; bringen in ~, put (sth.) into practice; comen in (in-to) ~, of good works, sins: come into practice; don ~, perform (one’s) function; don olde ~, carry out habitual behavior, perform (one’s) accustomed action; don ~ of, get into the habit of (swearing); haven ~, be accustomed to something, be used to something; haven this word in (on) ~, be accustomed to say these words; maken cours thurgh ~, hold a planetary course by nature.
(a) Habitual or long-continued use, habitual practice; with ~, habitually; (b) repeated performance for the purpose of acquiring skill, practice; (c) knowledge gained from what has been encountered or observed, experience; (d) effort, exertion; exercise.
(a) Pagan or Jewish religious observance, practice, or ritual; ~ of laue, prescribed religious custom; (b) eccl. devotional practice associated with a particular religious feast, the customary order of ritual activities pertaining to a saint’s feast, a tradition or practice associated with the liturgy of the Mass; ~ in chirche (of contre), the body of Christian religious tradition or practice associated with a particular church (country); monkes ~, the monastic ritual or rule; ~ of salisburi, salisburi ~, the order of divine service used in the diocese of Salisbury, the Sarum ritual; lincoln ~, the liturgical practices used in the diocese of Lincoln; ben ~, to be the ritual custom, be ritually customary.
Possession;— also pl.