used Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “used” in the English Dictionary

"used" in British English

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usedverb

uk   us   /juːst/
used to

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B1 shows that a ​particular thing always ​happened or was ​true in the past, ​especially if it no ​longerhappens or is no ​longertrue: She used to ​live in Glasgow. She used to ​lovedancing, but she doesn't do it any more. You don't come and ​see me like you used to. When we were ​younger, we used not to be ​allowed to ​drinkcoffee.

usedadjective

uk   us  
  • used adjective (FAMILIAR)

be used to sth/sb uk   us   /juːst/

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B1 to be ​familiar with something or someone: We're used to ​tourists here - we get thousands every ​year. [+ -ing verb] She was not used to ​speakingCantonese.
get used to sth/sb B1 to ​becomefamiliar with something or someone: Eventually you'll get used to the ​smells of the ​laboratory. [+ -ing verb] I just can't get used to getting up early.
  • used adjective (NOT NEW)

uk   /juːzd/ us   that has already been put to the ​purpose it was ​intended for; not new: a used ​airlineticket The blackmailers ​demanded to be ​paid in used £20 ​notes. I could only ​afford a used ​car (= one that has already been ​owned by ​others).
(Definition of used from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"used" in American English

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usedadjective [not gradable]

 us   /juzd/
already ​owned or put to a ​purpose by someone ​else; not new: We’re ​looking for a used ​car in good ​condition.
(Definition of used from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"used" in Business English

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usedadjective

uk   us   /juːzd/
COMMERCE used ​goods, ​cars, etc. have belonged to someone else and are not new when you ​buy them: The ​websiteadvertises used ​cars.
(Definition of used from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“used” in British English

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On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

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