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

Windows Hello aims to balance security with usability, said Dave Bossio, a Microsoft program manager. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Parted Your Hair A Different Way? Your Device Might Not Unlock," 25 Sep. 2018 Our consumer testers weren't big fans, giving the system average scores across the board for design and usability as well. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "Asus Zenbook UX31 Ultrabook Laptop," 17 Aug. 2012 Ten or 15 years ago, there was a study pitting capability versus usability in technology. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "The best doesn’t exist. A psychologist explains why we can’t stop searching.," 12 Dec. 2018 In summary, Google has reduced the usability and information density of its multitasking without gaining much of anything. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Android’s new multitasking is terrible and should be changed back," 20 Oct. 2018 For its first entry into the true wireless realm, Sennheiser has upheld its reputation for excellent sound, but the company hasn’t completed the job with matching functionality and usability. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review: sonic standout," 30 Nov. 2018 Using the voice interface to control things represented a huge change in usability. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 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 This new incarnation of Material Design separates fundamental usability and understandability concerns from the individual styling of elements. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Android 9 Pie, thoroughly reviewed," 13 Sep. 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

6 Feb 2019

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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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