use·​ful·​ness | \ ˈyüs-fəl-nəs How to pronounce usefulness (audio) \

Definition of usefulness

: the quality of having utility and especially practical worth or applicability

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Examples of usefulness in a Sentence

the well-known usefulness of thick phone books as seat boosters for short diners

Recent Examples on the Web

Northland Center, the Pontiac Silverdome, Summit Place Mall, Joe Louis Arena and many other sites and venues have all outgrown their usefulness and have, or will soon, come down. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "The short life of the Palace of Auburn Hills represents colossal waste of resources," 5 July 2019 The message, never stated directly but manifesting in myriad ways, is an overwhelmingly nihilistic one: your usefulness is over. Darcey Steinke, Time, "No One Told Me Exactly What to Expect From Menopause. But the Messages I Did Get Were Very Wrong," 28 June 2019 Participants learn about the legal definition of capacity and understand power of attorney and its importance along with conservatorship and its usefulness. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Golf tournament raises money for The Elizabeth Hospice," 24 June 2019 But their work would turn out to have a surprising usefulness in solving Mr. Ostrum’s puzzle. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "How Data Can Help You Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy," 15 June 2019 But the babies’ usefulness for building relationships among males appears to be worth the extra anxiety dads incur, Fischer says. National Geographic, "This Father’s Day, meet 6 extreme animal dads," 14 June 2019 In fact, there have been so many exceptions to the inverse relationship, its usefulness is often called into question. Bob Sellers, Fortune, "The Famous "Phillips Curve" to Predict Inflation Isn't Working Like it Should," 14 June 2019 Older malls, particularly urban ones, have needed to be reimagined to regain their usefulness in changing communities. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Will this PoMo wonderland in San Diego be saved?," 5 June 2019 The former first lady underscored fashion’s usefulness as a form of diplomatic communication and as a symbol of national pride. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "The fashion industry gave Barbie an award. Does she really deserve one?," 4 June 2019

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

1618, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about usefulness

Dictionary Entries near usefulness


useful life

useful load


use inheritance



Statistics for usefulness

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for usefulness

The first known use of usefulness was in 1618

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Comments on usefulness

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characterized by aphorism

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