util·​i·​tar·​i·​an | \ (ˌ)yü-ˌti-lə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce utilitarian (audio) \

Definition of utilitarian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an advocate or adherent of utilitarianism



Definition of utilitarian (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to or advocating utilitarianism
2 : marked by utilitarian views or practices
3a : of, relating to, or aiming at utility
b : exhibiting or preferring mere utility spare utilitarian furnishings

Examples of utilitarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Clearly, for a utilitarian like me, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. New York Times, 24 Dec. 2020 Then there are utilitarians — the greatest good, for the greatest number overall. Jim Beckerman, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2019 Consequentialists—including utilitarians, the most famous kind—are concerned with the outcomes and consequences of actions first and foremost. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 30 Mar. 2018 Besides, as long as these readers really are utilitarians and not Kantians, there’s nothing to stop them from quietly resubscribing in a month or two. Will Oremus, Slate Magazine, 1 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But despite the chatter surrounding this utilitarian accessory detail, there’s something to be said about a good old-fashioned handbag carried with—drumroll—your hands. Nicole Kliest, Vogue, 1 May 2022 Lotus cars used to be a touch utilitarian inside, which was part of its charms, but something that’s been evolving lately as customers have come to expect more interior comfort, connectivity and refinement. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 7 July 2021 One of my other favorite cookware brands is USA Pan, which makes very utilitarian, no-frills nonstick bakeware that’s reliable and encourages excellent browning on baked goods. Erin Jeanne Mcdowell, Bon Appétit, 15 Apr. 2022 Ritual tumis were large and elaborate, but ancient surgeons used a smaller, more utilitarian version for trepanation. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 13 Apr. 2022 Eulich was particularly excited to sink his teeth into the fanny pack scene, which features Quan wielding the utilitarian fashion accessory to fend off a squad of IRS security guards. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 Known for utilitarian tailoring, nostalgic silhouettes, meticulous knitwear, nods to images and motifs associated with African legacy, and collaboration with contemporary artists—this AZ product story, is a continuation of his brand ethos. Essence, 5 Apr. 2022 In literature, references to eating tend to be either symbolic or utilitarian. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, 29 Mar. 2022 Although the partnership between the luxury shoe designer and the utilitarian sandal brand may seem odd on the surface, Blahnik is a longtime wearer of Birkenstocks. Frances Solá-santiago, refinery29.com, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of utilitarian


circa 1780, in the meaning defined above


1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of utilitarian was circa 1780

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Cite this Entry

“Utilitarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utilitarian. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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