used


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get used to (someone or something)

To be made familiar with or become habituated to someone or something. I know Gregory can be a bit pretentious at times, but you get used to him after a while. I never could get used to driving on the other side of the road when I lived in England. Is she getting used to her new job?
See also: get, used

(not) half the person/man/woman (one) used to be

Having a reduced, diminished, or weakened physique, disposition, conviction, prowess, or mental acuity, as after some action, event, or trauma. Sometimes used in the negative but to the same effect. Poor Mary, she isn't half the person she used to be since that car accident. Have you seen John lately? He lost so much weight that he's like half the man he used to be!
See also: half, man, person, used, woman

get used

To become acclimated to or comfortable with something. I took me a few months, but I've finally gotten used to my new job. I can't seem to get used to the plays my new team runs.
See also: get, used

be half the (something) (one) used to be

To lose some of one's skill in a particular area. This phrase can also be applied derisively to men who appear to have lost their virility, especially after marriage. After years away from the sport, she's half the swimmer she used to be—I doubt she'll place in the upcoming meet. A: "Can you believe that Joe is out shopping with his wife right now, instead of watching the game with us?" B: "Ever since he got married, he's half the man he used to be."
See also: half, used

accustomed to

Familiar or comfortable with something. This phrase is often used to describe aspects of one's daily routine. Now that she is no longer in school, Stella has become accustomed to staying up late and sleeping until noon. I never thought I would become accustomed to working in a warehouse, but now I almost enjoy it.
See also: accustomed

use (one's) loaf

To use one's own intelligence and intellectual ability; to think logically and rationally. In this phrase, "loaf" refers to one's head or brain. Often said as an imperative. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Come on, Dean, I know you can figure this out on your own. Use your loaf! Jenny finally remembered to bring the right books home to do her homework. I'm glad she's finally using her loaf.
See also: loaf, use

use a sledgehammer to crack a nut

To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut: four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish.
See also: crack, nut, sledgehammer, use

there, there

A phrase used to soothe one who is upset. There, there, sweetie. Everything is going to be OK.
See also: there

use up

1. To exhaust or fatigue someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "use" and "up." All of that cleaning totally used me up—I need a nap.
2. To deplete an entire supply or amount of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "use" and "up." I can't believe you used up all of my shampoo and just left the empty bottle in the shower!
See also: up, use

used to

1. Used before a verb (infinitive) to indicate that the action or state was done or existed formerly or previously. (The verb is sometimes dropped.) I used to be a high school principal, before I changed careers. A: "Do you have guitar I could borrow?" B: "I used to, but I sold it last year."
2. Familiar with or habituated to someone or something. Is she getting used to her new job? I know Gregory can be a bit pretentious at times, but you get used to him after a while. I never could get used to driving on the other side of the road when I lived in England.
See also: used

use every trick in the book

To make use of every possible angle or approach to do or achieve something, especially ways that are clever, cunning, or ethically questionable. I used every trick in the book to get them to invest, but nothing could persuade them. You can use every trick in the book to get prospective employers to notice you, but if your work ethic isn't fundamentally sound, no one is going to want you working for them.
See also: book, every, trick, use

it takes (some) getting used to

It takes time to become familiar with or habituated to someone or something, perhaps due to their unpleasant nature. I know it takes getting used to the boss's unpredictable nature. I love being in England, but it takes some getting used to driving on the other side of the road! Is she getting used to her new job?
See also: get, take, used

better get used to it

A phrase used to urge someone to accept a particular situation, often an unpleasant or undesirable one. This is my department, so I'm in charge, and Ed better get used to it.
See also: better, get, used

not as young as (one) used to be

No longer as physically fit or able as one might have been in one's youth. You shouldn't try to tackle such demanding hikes—you're not as young as you used to be. I think it's time I started cutting down on my drinking. I'm not as young as I used to be, after all.
See also: not, used, young

the old gray mare ain't what she used to be

old-fashioned Something or someone is aged, obsolete, or outdated. The phrase comes from the opening line of the folk song "Old Gray Mare." Its (rare) modern use is usually somewhat derogatory. Man, that's a terrible sound coming from my car. I guess the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. A: "What happened, Mom? You used to be a great dancer." B: "Well, the old gray mare ain't what she used to be!"
See also: gray, mare, old, she, used, what

*accustomed to someone or something

 and *accustomed to doing something used to someone or something
; used to or in the habit of doing something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~; grow ~.) The children are accustomed to eating late in the evening.
See also: accustomed

It takes (some) getting used to.

It is very unpleasant at first, but after a time it will not be so bothersome. (Said in recognition of the unpleasantness of something.) I never ate raw oysters before. It takes some getting used to. These hot Mexican dishes seem impossible at first. They take some getting used to, I agree. But it's worth it.
See also: get, take, used

not as young as one used to be

Fig. getting old. Aunt Lila isn't as young as she used to be. She can't take a lot of trips anymore. Don't walk so fast! I'm not as young as I used to be. It takes me awhile to catch up.
See also: not, one, used, young

There, there.

 and There, now.
an expression used to comfort someone. There, there. You'll feel better after you take a nap. There, now. Everything will be all right.
See also: there

They don't make them like they used to.

Cliché Goods are not as well made now as they were in the past. (Often used as a catchphrase. Them is often 'em.) Look at this flimsy door! They don't make 'em like they used to. Why don't cars last longer? They just don't make 'em like they used to.
See also: like, make, used

use every trick in the book

Fig. to use every method possible. I used every trick in the book, but I still couldn't manage to get a ticket to the game Saturday. Bob tried to use every trick in the book, but he still failed.
See also: book, every, trick, use

use someone up

Fig. to use all the effort or talent a person has. His career simply used him up. I used myself up. I'm done. I can't function anymore.
See also: up, use

use something up

to consume or use all of something. Use the flour up. I have more in the cupboard. Use up every bit of it. Go ahead.
See also: up, use

used to do something

to have done something [customarily] in the past. We used to go swimming in the lake before it became polluted. I used to eat nuts, but then I became allergic to them.
See also: used

*used to someone or something

Fig. accustomed to someone or something; familiar and comfortable with someone or something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~; get~.) I am used to eating better food than this. I am used to the doctor I have and I don't want to change.
See also: used

accustomed to

Used to something or someone; having the habit of doing something. For example, In Spain we gave up our usual schedule and became accustomed to eating dinner at 10 p.m. Professor Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady (1956) ruefully sang the song "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" after his protégé Eliza walked out on him. [Second half of 1400s]
See also: accustomed

it takes getting used to

One needs to become accustomed to something. For example, We've always had a small car, so driving a big van like this-well, it takes getting used to . This idiom employs used to in the sense of "accustomed to," a usage dating from the first half of the 1500s.
See also: get, take, used

used to

1. Accustomed or habituated to. This expression is often put as be or get used to , as in I'm not used to driving a manual-shift car, or She can't get used to calling him Dad. [Early 1500s]
2. Formerly. This sense is used with a following verb to indicate a past state, as in I used to ride my bicycle to the post office, or This used to be the best restaurant in town. [Late 1800s]
See also: used

use up

1. Consume completely, as in The kids used up all their money playing video games. [Late 1700s]
2. Exhaust, tire out, as in I'm totally used up from digging that hole. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]
See also: up, use

use every trick in the book

If someone uses every trick in the book, they do everything possible to achieve something. Companies are using every trick in the book to stay one step in front of their competitors. These smokers are using every trick in the book to reduce their health risk without actually giving up. Note: Other verbs such as try or pull are sometimes used instead of use. They have tried every trick in the book from secret meetings to spreading false information about me. Note: You can also say that someone knows every trick in the book if they know all the possible ways to achieve something. They know every trick in the book when it comes to spending taxpayers' money.
See also: book, every, trick, use

use a ˌsledgehammer to crack a ˈnut

use more force than is necessary: It was a small and peaceful demonstration so I don’t know why there was such a big police presence. It was like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
See also: crack, nut, sledgehammer, use

use up

v.
To consume something completely: We used up all our money on repairs for the house. We used all the gas up before we reached the gas station.
See also: up, use

better get used to it

and BGUTI
phr. & comp. abb. It may be bad, but you should get used to it. Sorry you don’t like it. BGUTI. A: I am so not used to it! B: Better get used to it.
See also: better, get, used
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