use·​less ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio)
: having or being of no use:
: ineffectual
a useless attempt
: not able to give service or aid : inept
uselessly adverb
uselessness noun

Examples of useless in a Sentence

The tent is useless in wet conditions. I made a useless attempt at fixing the leak. Drugs are useless in treating the condition.
Recent Examples on the Web Many people believe that only spam, junk or generally ‘useless’ emails end up in the spam folder. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2024 Cash printed in the morning was useless by the afternoon. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 And solar storms can interfere with the Earth’s magnetic field, rendering that sense useless. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 1 Apr. 2024 As the Kremlin finds creative ways to evade government sanctions, marginal improvements in the Russian economy have led some critics to wrongly declare that all economic sanctions are ineffectual and useless. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2024 Everything in America is falling apart as Democrats focus on 'useless woke virtue signaling'. Fox News, 29 Mar. 2024 That definition is so broad and so vague as to be useless. Katha Pollitt, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2024 Choosing the wrong test may be useless, and a waste of time and money. Brandon Peters, Verywell Health, 21 Mar. 2024 The Justice Department alleges that Apple is using its wearable as yet another tool in its kit to ensure that people choose another iPhone whenever upgrade time rolls around — and not an Android device, where the Apple Watch would be useless. Chris Welch, The Verge, 21 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'useless.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of useless was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near useless

Cite this Entry

“Useless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


use·​less ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio)
: having or being of no use
uselessly adverb
uselessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on useless

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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