use·​less | \ ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio) \

Definition of useless

: having or being of no use:
a : ineffectual a useless attempt
b : not able to give service or aid : inept

Other Words from useless

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Lake Superior State University released a list of the top 10 misused, overused or useless phrases submitted by people across the globe. Naomi Ludlow, USA TODAY, 3 Jan. 2022 Major mobile carriers will be shutting down older 3G networks in 2022, making older phones and some other devices useless. Leada Gore |, al, 30 Dec. 2021 More perplexing for some, viral memes and gifs that were once sources of free and seemingly useless entertainment online are also fetching huge sums of cash when sold as NFTs. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, 29 Dec. 2021 Most of these mutations are useless or even destructive to the virus, points out Wendy Barclay, a virologist at Imperial College London. Amy Mckeever, Science, 28 Dec. 2021 Two days later, GEDmatch became all but useless to Moore. New York Times, 27 Dec. 2021 Last Christmas, Baron Li and his family were facing eviction after a shooting months earlier — allegedly orchestrated by his ex-wife — left him unable to work, and his right arm largely useless. Chris Harris,, 24 Dec. 2021 Some people say the source of the sourness in the Oval Office is the unprecedented censure by the British parliament of the U.S. administration for its useless, chaotic, and embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. Simon Constable, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Every single character is ambitious, arguably useless, and embalmed with privilege. Raven Smith, Vogue, 10 Dec. 2021

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

1593, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for useless

Time Traveler

The first known use of useless was in 1593

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Dictionary Entries Near useless

use inheritance



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Statistics for useless

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Useless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for useless



English Language Learners Definition of useless

: not at all useful : not doing or able to do what is needed : not producing or able to produce the effect you want


use·​less | \ ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio) \

Kids Definition of useless

: being of or having no use

Other Words from useless

uselessly adverb
uselessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on useless

Nglish: Translation of useless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of useless for Arabic Speakers


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