use·​ful·​ness | \ ˈyüs-fəl-nəs \

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

That substantially limits its usefulness to the very poor. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Kamala Harris’s new basic income-style bill is so frustratingly close to being great," 19 Oct. 2018 All drugs have side effects at certain doses, so balancing therapeutic usefulness with unwanted side effects is a continuous challenge. Ronald S. Litman,, "Unintended consequences of taking prescription medicines," 20 June 2018 While the Echo can do all sorts of things, included the bulb gives you an automatic way to show the device's usefulness. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Get Your Smart Home Up and Running With These Echo Bundles," 6 Nov. 2017 Fast Company reports that answers will be moderated through users voting up or down responses by accuracy and usefulness. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Amazon Alexa is beta testing crowdsourced answers," 6 Dec. 2018 Even when there is no immediate usefulness, there's still a strong argument to be made on the basis of pure curiosity. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 In the case of a review site like Yelp, only positive reviews would survive, destroying the site's usefulness. Michael Hiltzik,, "Yelp may have just saved the internet — but the court ruling in its favor is a dangerous muddle," 3 July 2018 Bringing drones to the domestic theater means proving their usefulness step by step. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "A Single Drone Helped Mexican Police Drop Crime 10 Percent," 11 June 2018 The survey looked at things like cleanliness and usefulness of gas station's restroom facilities. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "It's a crap shoot to find the cleanest gas station restroom, but this one is Number 1 | Miami Herald," 16 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near usefulness


useful life

useful load


use inheritance



Statistics for usefulness

Last Updated

1 Feb 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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