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From un- +‎ used.



Unused colored pencils

unused (comparative more unused, superlative most unused)

  1. (not comparable) Not used.
    I have two unused vouchers for a free meal.
    • 1972 October, “Losses from Operating a Farm”, in Farmer's Tax Guide: Income and Self Employment Tax (Internal Revenue Service; publication 225), Washington, D.C.: Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, published 1973, →OCLC, page 35:
      If you have an unused credit for a year for which you also have additional tax liability because of an early disposal of an asset, you may reduce the added tax liability by the current year's unused credit that may be carried back solely because of recomputation of the investment credit for the prior year.
    • 1975 June, Edward W. Lawless, Thomas L. Ferguson, Alfred F. Meiners, “Introduction”, in Guidelines for the Disposal of Small Quantities of Unused Pesticides (Environmental Protection Technology Series; EPA-670/2-75-057), Cincinnati, Oh.: National Environmental Research Center, United States Environmental Protection Agency, →OCLC, page 9:
      A particular problem is the disposal of small quantities of unwanted, surplus, or unused pesticides. Considerable attention has been given recently to the detoxification, prior to disposal, of sizable amounts of pesticides such as the herbicides returned from Vietnam. Some attention has also been given to the smaller amounts of unused pesticides at the consumer level, and in a few communities, specific pesticides such as DDT have been collected by authorities and safely disposed of by proven procedures.
    • 2001, George Alagiah, A Passage to Africa, London: Little, Brown Book Group, →ISBN:
      The Lancaster House agreement's clauses on land distribution, which were later written into the independence constitution, are worth reading if only to understand why [Robert] Mugabe reserves some of his most vitriolic verbal assaults for the British who, as the one-time colonial power, presided over the conference. The clause made it extremely difficult for Zimbabwe's democratically elected government to procure land, even land that was unused. The legal hoops through which a government would have to jump to do so were designed to ensure that it would rarely, if ever, happen.
    Synonyms: mint, new, pristine, virgin
    Antonyms: used, old, preloved, pre-owned, secondhand
  2. Not accustomed (to), unfamiliar with.
    I am unused to the dark nights of the countryside.
    Synonyms: unacquainted (with), unfamiliar with
    Antonyms: acquainted (with), familiar (with)

Usage notes[edit]

The second pronunciation (/-uːst/) is used for the “not accustomed” sense (especially in informal speech), and is a devoicing of the terminal /zd/ to /st/ under the influence of the /t/ of the following to. In very informal situations the final stop is often elided completely, leading to the pronunciation of “unused to” as a single word /ˈʌn.juːs.tə/. In formal speech the second (/-uːst/) pronunciation is frequently proscribed in favour of the fully voiced (/-uːzd/) pronunciation, which is acceptable for either sense and is normally used for the “not used” sense in all registers.


See also[edit]