uti·​lize | \ˈyü-tə-ˌlīz \
utilized; utilizing

Definition of utilize 

transitive verb

: to make use of : turn to practical use or account I'm a great person for utilizing waste power— Robert Frost

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Other Words from utilize

utilizable \ˈyü-​tə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective
utilization \ˌyü-​tə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
utilizer \ˈyü-​tə-​ˌlī-​zər \ 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

Make the most of your square footage by utilizing options designed for cramped quarters. The Seattle Times, "4 quick fixes to give your rental home more personality," 13 Aug. 2018 Still, there was just something that felt taboo in utilizing that same technology to meet friends. Liz Presson, Marie Claire, "I Met My BFF on Bumble," 7 Aug. 2018 In exchange, the companies asked to do away with the bills that give the TLC the ability to cap the number of vehicles allowed as well as set a standard for how well-utilized its cars are. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "Uber and Lyft are fighting a critical battle against New York City — and this time, they might not win," 2 Aug. 2018 Public health authorities actually think flu drugs are under-utilized, so a drug that works well and has more appeal to doctors and patients would be an advance. Helen Branswell, STAT, "A flu drug — shown to reduce the duration of symptoms — could upend treatment in U.S.," 27 June 2018 The company plans to transport passengers between O’Hare and Block 37 in the Loop in approximately 12 minutes each way by utilizing electric vehicles that run through new twin underground tunnels. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Politics / Transportation Another whopper from Rahm: express service to O'Hare that won’t cost the public," 18 June 2018 The rural connectivity scheme has already seen success with new flights to dozens of unused or under-utilized airports. Anurag Kotoky, Bloomberg.com, "Honeywell to Make Flying Safer by Decoding 100 Accents in India," 5 June 2018 Qatar also has its sights set on utilizing soccer's showcase event to nurture new industries and businesses that will help diversify its economy away from oil and gas dependency. Eoghan Macguire, CNN, "World Cup 2022: Meet the Qataris making the most of soccer's showcase," 3 June 2018 There is also Balboa Park’s beloved and much-utilized Free Tuesday program. Karla Peterson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Six San Diego museums just became more affordable," 30 May 2018

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

1807, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for utilize

French utiliser, from utile

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Statistics for utilize

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for utilize

The first known use of utilize was in 1807

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More Definitions for utilize



English Language Learners Definition of utilize

: to use (something) for a particular purpose


uti·​lize | \ˈyü-tə-ˌlīz \
utilized; utilizing

Kids Definition of utilize

: to make use of especially for a certain job We had to utilize our navigation skills to find our way.

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More from Merriam-Webster on utilize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with utilize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for utilize

Spanish Central: Translation of utilize

Nglish: Translation of utilize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of utilize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on utilize

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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