Usage

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Usage

A reasonable and legal practice in a particular location, or among persons in a specific business or trade, that is either known to the individuals involved or is well established, general, and uniform to such an extent that a presumption may properly be made that the parties acted with reference to it in their transactions.

The term usage refers to a uniform practice or course of conduct followed in certain lines of business or professions that is relied upon by the parties to a contractual transaction. A court will apply the usage of a business when it determines that doing so is necessary to resolve a contractual dispute. Ignoring usage may result in the misreading of a document and the intent of the parties who signed it.

The law has developed different forms of usage. Local usage refers to a practice or method of dealing regularly observed in a particular place. Under certain circumstances it may be considered by a court when interpreting a document. General usage is a practice that prevails generally throughout the country, or is followed generally by a given profession or trade, and is not local in its nature or observance.

A trade usage is the prevailing and accepted custom within a particular trade or industry and is not tied to a geographic location. The law assumes that merchants are aware of the usage of their trade. Trade Usage supplements, qualifies, and imparts particular meaning to the terms of an agreement for the purpose of their interpretation.

The term custom and usage is commonly used in Commercial Law, but "custom" and "usage" can be distinguished. A usage is a repetition of acts whereas custom is the law or general rule that arises from such repetition. A usage may exist without a custom, but a custom cannot arise without a usage accompanying it or preceding it. Usage derives its authority from the assent of the parties to a transaction and is applicable only to consensual arrangements. Custom derives its authority from its adoption into the law and is binding regardless of any acts of assent by the parties. In modern law, however, the two principles are often merged into one by the courts.

custom

or

usage

a residual source of law.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
A total of 13 million GB data usage was recorded in the March quarter by the company.
Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh were among the many states recording average usage of more than 2 GB.
Stemming from precise observations of usages, they offer several examples of current transformations:
Paradoxical or illegal usages of ICTs thus testify to the strength of the current conflict between the older economic model, which still persists in searching for value in objects, and the currently emerging economic organization shaped by users through their trial and error-attempts to use ill-defined equipment and software.
And as in many other arenas where life provides guidance but no absolute answers, this dictionary leaves many of the decisions on usage to the informed reader.
Contrary to the assertion of probably all your English teachers, learned opinions differ on the correct answers to many usage questions.
The term "reductive" denotes a compact, umbrella-type rule of usage, centering on simplified grammar.
A continuing effort in the form of reentry and combinatory drills must be made to ensure that the students not only control the usage but also the conceptualization of the grammar item (Frey 1993).
The Usage Panel, a resource unique to American Heritage dictionaries for 25 years, remains a central feature of the AHD3.
the usage of Cicero himself and his contemporaries (Waquet, 153; Howe, 126), sometimes vocabulary and wordchoice seems to be the measure of good Latin (Waquet, 155-56; Howe, 128).
In its conclusion on the subject "Possessive with gerund," Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Alden Wood, APR, lecturer on editorial procedures at Simmons College, Boston, Mass., writes and lectures on language usage. He is a retired insurance industry vice president of advertising and public relations (his E-mail address is awood@vmsvax.simmons.edu).