us·abil·i·ty | \ ˌyü-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē \

Definition of usability 

: the quality or state of being usable : ease of use When netbooks arrived a couple of years ago, they were so tiny, only spider monkeys would find them usable. But as they've inched up in size and usability, their sales have taken off. —David Pogue One of the other great problems of computer software is preoccupation with bells and whistles, rather than usability. Even software that began as easily usable can evolve over time into something so burdened with complicated (and trivial) features that it is a challenge to figure out how to do the simplest thing. —Thomas Sowell

Examples of usability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Kona offers superior performance, greater everyday usability, and more features for the money. Washington Post, "Edmunds compares Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport," 27 June 2018 The Kona offers superior performance, greater everyday usability, and more features for the money. Mark Takahashi, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Edmunds compares subcompact crossover SUVs Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport," 29 June 2018 This Suunto smartwatch is a beautiful blend of fitness functionality and everyday usability. Emily Reed, Outside Online, "My Do-Everything Summer Wardrobe," 21 June 2018 The app is primarily focused on increasing usability, such as letting users scroll up and down. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "United Airlines Wants an App to Personalize Your Experience — Without Being Creepy," 14 June 2018 Security and usability have always been on the opposite ends of the spectrum, so finding the right balance for you is the key. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Whitelisting can be a useful tool to protect your computer against malware," 7 May 2018 As a result, significant efforts are underway to improve E.H.R. usability and reduce physician burnout by incorporating advanced machine-learning capabilities to anticipate and predict documentation and intervention sequences. New York Times, "Readers Respond to the 5.20.18 Issue," 31 May 2018 This model could improve the usability of conventional transit in low-density suburban areas where most homes are not close to a bus stop. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Self-driving technology is going to change a lot more than cars," 29 May 2018 Users can personally configure the system to improve usability. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Audi Q8 SUV revealed: Luxury SUV market gets new 5-passenger model," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'usability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of usability

1842, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for usability

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for usability

The first known use of usability was in 1842

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Nglish: Translation of usability for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usability for Arabic Speakers

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