use·​ful | \ ˈyüs-fəl How to pronounce useful (audio) \

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

Other Words from useful

usefully \ ˈyüs-​fə-​lē How to pronounce useful (audio) \ 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?
Recent Examples on the Web Actually being in those shoes is useful to being a producer. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 In other words, by pure coincidence, a mutation that was useful to a previous version of the coronavirus has shown up again, and may help this subvariant surpass BA.2 in Arizona. Melina Walling, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2022 Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue, said the routes that will serve the West will be especially useful to those who attend Brigham Young University. Blake Apgar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 May 2022 Look carefully at the product's hang tag and talk to the sales staff to get a better sense of whether the features are useful to you. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 Some of these crafts will prove useful around the home or backyard, including a milk carton bird feeder and personalized photo coasters. Erin Cavoto, Country Living, 27 Apr. 2022 And with battles expected to play out increasingly in cities, the Javelin — which is tricky to fire safely out of building windows — may not prove especially useful, Kotlarski said. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 Red, meanwhile, will work with the Task Force to take down another adversary on the Blacklist that may prove useful. Laura Sirikul,, 26 Feb. 2022 The companies are now seeking regulatory approvals for their vaccine, which may also prove useful as a booster shot, the companies said. Rita Beamish, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of useful

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Useful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for useful


use·​ful | \ ˈyüs-fəl How to pronounce useful (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on useful

Nglish: Translation of useful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of useful for Arabic Speakers


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