uti·​lize ˈyü-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce utilize (audio)
utilized; utilizing

transitive verb

: to make use of : turn to practical use or account
I'm a great person for utilizing waste powerRobert Frost
utilizable adjective
utilization noun
utilizer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for utilize

use, employ, utilize mean to put into service especially to attain an end.

use implies availing oneself of something as a means or instrument to an end.

willing to use any means to achieve her ends

employ suggests the use of a person or thing that is available but idle, inactive, or disengaged.

looking for better ways to employ their skills

utilize may suggest the discovery of a new, profitable, or practical use for something.

an old wooden bucket utilized as a planter

Examples of utilize in a Sentence

Many of the library's resources are not utilized by townspeople. we must utilize all the tools at our disposal
Recent Examples on the Web Murgia utilizes large scale tree plantings as well as high tech wind breaks around and within the vineyards. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023 This lighted display utilizes string lights to form a Christmas tree that’s sure to be a show-stopper in your front yard. Gabriela Izquierdo, Southern Living, 15 Nov. 2023 Thus far, a few members of the group have utilized this tool. Deidre Olsen, WIRED, 15 Nov. 2023 The Detroit rapper utilized a manic, strangely hyper cadence seemingly fueled by too much Molly. Mosi Reeves, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 Free-diving does not utilize underwater breathing apparatus such as scuba gear, instead relying on breath-holding for long periods. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 Heat reuse means utilizing excess heat from servers to serve energy demands outside the data center. Forrester, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 In National City, the bay is utilized industrially. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2023 The standard version of Leo utilizes Meta’s Llama 2 large language model and is free to use by default. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'utilize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French utiliser, from utile

First Known Use

1807, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of utilize was in 1807

Dictionary Entries Near utilize

Cite this Entry

“Utilize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utilize. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


uti·​lize ˈyüt-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce utilize (audio)
utilized; utilizing
: to make use of especially for a certain job
utilization noun

More from Merriam-Webster on utilize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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