Definition of usance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjuːz(ə)ns/


[mass noun] archaic
1 another term for usage.
2The time allowed for the payment of foreign bills of exchange, according to law or commercial practice.
Example sentences
  • It follows that the problem could arise only in the case of bills payable on demand, or where a bill payable at another usance is discharge before its maturity.
  • The company said the cause behind its bouncing checks is that its 29 stores suffered lower sales than expected during the Lunar New Year holiday period and suppliers refused to extend usance.
  • Shakespeare, however, has already let us know, in an aside earlier in the scene, that Shylock hates Antonio because ‘he is a Christian’ and because ‘He lends out money gratis, and brings down / The rate of usance here with us in Venice.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from the base of the verb user 'to use'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: us¦ance

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