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

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Other Words from useful

usefully \ ˈyüs-​fə-​lē How to pronounce usefully (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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Her fears were exacerbated by the lack of useful information online, even in the age of WebMD. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "How Model Emm Arruda Wants to Change the Way We Think About Scoliosis," 29 June 2019 Before a snap, what useful information can Lattimore derive from formations and wide receiver splits? Luke Johnson,, "How does Saints corner Marshon Lattimore take the next step?," 28 June 2019 Crain and Burnham try to identify the most useful information to pass on to the sailors. New York Times, "Sailing Into Uncharted Waters," 23 June 2019 Ford was useful his first season with the Pacers (14.9 ppg, 5.3 apg, 45.2 FG%) but only played in 88 more games, averaging 8.0 ppg and 3.6 apg due to injuries. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "NBA Draft 2019: Ranking all of the Pacers' draft day trades," 18 June 2019 But instead of transmitting back every last bit of image data, the satellite will summarise what the user requests as useful information. The Economist, "Using AI to speed up the processing of space images," 14 June 2019 Pfeiffer recalled two incidents when an armored vehicle would have been useful. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Waukesha County SWAT team is raising money for an armored vehicle that could help get victims out of danger," 7 June 2019 Early editions of the guide included restaurant listings jumbled with other information useful to the motorist: hotels, petrol stations, road maps. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Michelin Guide’s Not Entirely Welcome Return to L.A.," 5 June 2019 At a mere 172 square feet, the tiny space is compact enough to actually fit but still has enough room to be useful, whether it's used for storage or for pure fun. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Amazon Is Selling a DIY Backyard Guest House," 7 May 2019

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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Statistics for useful

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for useful

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 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

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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

What made you want to look up useful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

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