utility

noun
util·​i·​ty | \ yü-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce utility (audio) \
plural utilities

Definition of utility

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fitness for some purpose or worth to some end
2 : something useful or designed for use
b(1) : a service (such as light, power, or water) provided by a public utility
(2) : equipment or a piece of equipment to provide such service or a comparable service
4 : a program or routine designed to perform or facilitate especially routine operations (such as copying files or editing text) on a computer

utility

adjective

Definition of utility (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : capable of serving as a substitute in various roles or positions a utility infielder
2a : kept to provide a useful product or service rather than for show or as a pet utility livestock a utility dog
b : being of a usable but inferior grade utility beef
3 : serving primarily for utility rather than beauty : utilitarian
4 : designed or adapted for general use a utility tool
5 : of or relating to a utility a utility company

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Examples of utility in a Sentence

Noun a plan without much practical utility Notify the utility if there's an outage.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The directors, president and vice president set the broad policies and approve things like rates, while the CEO reports to them and handles the day-to-day operations of the utilities. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "SRP election is April 7 — Landowners have until Friday to request a mail-in ballot, and these are the candidates," 26 Mar. 2020 The utility filed for bankruptcy in January 2019 under the pressure of billions of dollars in claims related to the fires. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for March 24: Coronavirus, health, economy, PG&E, insanity plea," 24 Mar. 2020 Under an agreement with Newsom announced Friday, the utility pledged billions of dollars to help wildfire victims, improve safety and make other changes. Peter Eavis, BostonGlobe.com, "PG&E will plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Camp Fire," 23 Mar. 2020 On Monday, DTE Energy suspended non-critical work involving the utility's infrastructure and maintenance programs. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "DTE Energy chief on 'stay home' order: It's painful, but I support it," 23 Mar. 2020 The utility cited more than $30 billion in potential uninsured liabilities as part of its bankruptcy claim. NBC News, "PG&E to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in California Camp Fire," 23 Mar. 2020 The utility has said its equipment may have started 10 other wildfires across the state, as well. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "PG&E pleads guilty to dozens of manslaughter counts from California's most destructive wildfire," 23 Mar. 2020 Under an agreement with Mr. Newsom announced on Friday, the utility pledged billions of dollars to help wildfire victims, improve safety and make other changes. Ivan Penn, New York Times, "PG&E Will Plead Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter in Camp Fire," 23 Mar. 2020 Customers should continue to pay bills on time, and unpaid bills will still grow during the suspension, the utilities said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "What’s being done to help Anchorage residents feeling a financial hit from coronavirus," 18 Mar. 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for utility

Noun

Middle English utilite, from Anglo-French utilité, from Latin utilitat, utilitas, from utilis useful, from uti to use

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Time Traveler for utility

Time Traveler

The first known use of utility was in the 14th century

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Statistics for utility

Last Updated

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Utility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utility. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for utility

utility

noun
How to pronounce utility (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of utility

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : the quality or state of being useful
: a service (such as a supply of electricity or water) that is provided to the public
: a company that provides electricity, water, etc.

utility

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of utility (Entry 2 of 2)

: designed for general use
sports : able to be used in several different positions or roles
: made to be useful rather than decorative

utility

noun
util·​i·​ty | \ yu̇-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce utility (audio) \
plural utilities

Kids Definition of utility

1 : the quality or state of being useful
2 : a business that supplies a public service (as electricity or gas) under special regulation by the government

utility

noun
util·​i·​ty
plural utilities

Legal Definition of utility

1 : fitness for some purpose or worth to some end
b : a service or commodity provided by a public utility paid for rent and utilities also : equipment or material used in providing such a service or commodity an easement limited to purposes of travel which does not include the right to install utilitiesWare v. Public Serv. Co., 412 A.2d 84 (1980)
3 plural : stocks or bonds of utility companies utilities performed poorly

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Comments on utility

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