1

utility

noun util·i·ty \ yü-ˈti-lə-tē \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of utility

plural utilities
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

Examples of utility in a Sentence

  1. a plan without much practical utility

  2. Notify the utility if there's an outage.

Recent Examples of utility from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of utility

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


2

utility

adjective

Definition of utility

1 : capable of serving as a substitute in various roles or positions
  • a utility infielder
2 a : 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

First Known Use of utility

1851



UTILITY Defined for English Language Learners

utility

noun

Definition of utility for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of utility for English Language Learners

  • : designed for general use

  • sports : able to be used in several different positions or roles

  • : made to be useful rather than decorative


UTILITY Defined for Kids

utility

noun util·i·ty \ yu̇-ˈti-lə-tē \

Definition of utility for Students

plural utilities
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

Law Dictionary

utility

noun util·i·ty

legal Definition of utility

plural utilities
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 utilities
  • Ware v. Public Serv. Co., 412 A.2d 84 (1980)
3 plural : stocks or bonds of utility companies
  • utilities performed poorly


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