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The term globalization has become widely used in recent years.

In the sentence above, is used used as an adjective? Can has become widely used be replaced with has been widely used without changing the meaning?

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    has become widely used is not grammatical. Yes, 'has been widely used...' is correct. – Maulik V Jun 8 '18 at 2:48
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    @MaulikV, what makes you think that "has become widely used* is ungrammatical? As this NGram shows, the wording "has become widely used" has become widely used over the past hundred years. books.google.com/ngrams/… – JavaLatte Jun 8 '18 at 3:13
  • Heck! It's there? Yeah, I'd still never use it! '... has become <adjective like popular>...' is what I've seen/used zillions of times. Alternatively, I'd use has been widely used... as the OP states. @JavaLatte – Maulik V Jun 8 '18 at 3:16
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used as an adjective generally relates to the state of wear of an item, and means "not new" or second-hand. The verb relates to making use of an item. This sentence is about making use of a word and so in this context used is a past participle of the verb.

The term globalization has become widely used in recent years.
The term globalization has been widely used in recent years.

Both of these forms are grammatically correct. become means "to start to be", so the first sentence suggests that a few years ago the term was not widely used, but usage has increased and it is now widely used.

The second sentence does not directly suggest anything about any change in usage, and as such it seems to say nothing of interest on its own. I would therefore expect this wording to be followed by a 'but' clause that makes the main point of the sentence, for example:

The term globalization has been widely used in recent years, but few people have a clear idea what it actually means.

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