noun uten·sil \ yu̇-ˈten(t)-səl , ˈyü-ˌten(t)- \

Definition of utensil

1 :an implement, instrument, or vessel used in a household and especially a kitchen
2 :a useful tool or implement

Examples of utensil in a Sentence

  1. participants in the class must supply their own writing utensils

Recent Examples of utensil from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'utensil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of utensil

Middle English, vessels for domestic use, from Middle French utensile, from Latin utensilia, from neuter plural of utensilis useful, from uti to use

Synonym Discussion of utensil

implement, tool, instrument, appliance, utensil mean a relatively simple device for performing work. implement may apply to anything necessary to perform a task.
    • crude stone implements
    • farm implements
tool suggests an implement adapted to facilitate a definite kind or stage of work and suggests the need of skill more strongly than implement.
    • a carpenter's tools
instrument suggests a device capable of delicate or precise work.
    • the dentist's instruments
appliance refers to a tool or instrument utilizing a power source and suggests portability or temporary attachment.
    • household appliances
utensil applies to a device used in domestic work or some routine unskilled activity.
    • kitchen utensils

UTENSIL Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of utensil for English Language Learners

  • : a simple and useful device that is used for doing tasks in a person's home and especially in the kitchen

UTENSIL Defined for Kids


noun uten·sil \ yu̇-ˈten-səl \

Definition of utensil for Students

1 :a tool or container used in a home and especially a kitchen
2 :a useful tool

Word Root of utensil

The Latin word ūtī, meaning “to use,” “to possess,” or “to enjoy,” and its form ūsus give us the roots ut and us. Words from the Latin ūtī have something to do with use. To use is to possess and enjoy. To abuse is to use something incorrectly or unfairly. Anything usual is commonly used by many people. A utensil is a tool that is used for a particular purpose, especially for eating or cooking.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up utensil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


money or riches

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!