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 Though some have pooh-poohed Silicon Valley's usefulness in the era of COVID, the advent of these software companies utterly transformed America's ability to weather a plague. Noah Smith, Star Tribune, "Imagine the pandemic ordeal if it hadn't been for Big Tech," 9 Mar. 2021 Authors’ response: The formal elements of a talent management program need to be balanced by informal approaches that provide employees’ feedback about the program’s usefulness. Michael B. Arthur, Forbes, "Promoting And Succeeding At Talent Liberation," 28 Feb. 2021 Ultimately, WhatsApp’s usefulness means little will change, Pon says. Tolu Olasoji, Quartz Africa, "African users won’t dump WhatsApp even with a Facebook privacy fear," 16 Jan. 2021 In effect, the Trustees will decide today whether these nomination review committees have outlived their usefulness. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Recording Academy Considering Ending Grammy Nomination Review Committees," 30 Apr. 2021 The city’s own sustainability plan, Thrive Indianapolis, sets a goal for increasing green space and tree cover throughout the city, recognizing its usefulness in mitigating flooding, pollution and heat, and generally improving quality of life. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis has few urban forests left — but many are privately owned and at risk," 30 Apr. 2021 But the moving image and spoken word are hard to parse and skim, which has limited their usefulness. Clive Thompson, Wired, "Sorry, but ‘I Missed the Meeting’ Is No Longer an Excuse," 15 Apr. 2021 However, their usefulness as an extra precautionary measure, particularly during bouts of bad weather, is undeniable. Brendan Crowley, Popular Mechanics, "Here’s the Minute-by-Minute Breakdown of the Ever Given’s Crash," 9 Apr. 2021 Once people learned to reproduce fire instead of using it only from natural sources, its usefulness broadened considerably. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: Carnegie Hall’s ‘Be the Light’ livestream keeps things upbeat," 8 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for usefulness

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The first known use of usefulness was in 1618

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Statistics for usefulness

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Usefulness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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