use·ful | \ ˈyüs-fəl \

Definition of useful 

1 : capable of being put to use especially : serviceable for an end or purpose useful tools

2 : of a valuable or productive kind do something useful with your life

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Other words from useful

usefully \ˈyüs-fə-lē \ adverb

Examples of useful in a Sentence

Does anyone have any useful suggestions? It can be useful to know CPR. The Internet is useful for finding information quickly. She has become one of the team's most useful players. Why don't you do something useful with your life?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Others are here to cement relationships that might be politically useful down the road. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "For FIFA Executives, World Cup Perks Survive a Scandal," 13 July 2018 That was proved to be very useful during the great recession, right? WSJ, "Transcript: WSJ Interview With Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester," 13 July 2018 While Assad needs the Iranians and the Russians, an Iran that is constrained by sanctions is much less useful to him over the long run. Washington Post, "Analysis: Iran role in Syria key item at Trump-Putin summit," 13 July 2018 This watch, with its top-end sport features and data collection, is most obviously useful for athletes who go out for longer than a single day at a time. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Testing the Suunto 9 Sports Watch," 6 July 2018 While this function is certainly useful, there are a number of features missing from the test iteration the company is releasing today to a select group of users. Madeline Buxton,, "A New Facebook Control Helps You Avoid Spoiler Alerts," 27 June 2018 But when horses gave way to cars, that goal was no longer useful so the Trust funded the creation of the sculpture. Susan Dunne,, "The Sculptures Outside The Wadsworth, Explained," 9 July 2018 Google's excellence as a tech giant has largely been in presentation: all of its big wins have come through creating attractive, useful ways to consume existing content. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Can Google Really Launch a Viable Videogame Platform?," 7 July 2018 Too little of defence spending is useful—over a third of Belgium’s is eaten up by pensions. The Economist, "The Western alliance is in trouble," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'useful.' 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 useful

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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The first known use of useful was in 1595

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English Language Learners Definition of useful

: helping to do or achieve something


use·ful | \ ˈyüs-fəl \

Kids Definition of useful

1 : capable of being put to use : usable useful scraps of material

2 : helpful in doing or achieving something If you are ever planning a vacation, you may find it useful to acquire a guidebook … —Lemony Snicket, The Miserable Mill

Other words from useful

usefully \-fə-lē \ adverb
usefulness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on useful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for useful

Spanish Central: Translation of useful

Nglish: Translation of useful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of useful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on useful

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to make amends

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