use·​less | \ ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio) \

Definition of useless

: having or being of no use:
a : ineffectual a useless attempt
b : not able to give service or aid : inept

Other Words from useless

uselessly adverb
uselessness noun

Examples of useless in a Sentence

The tent is useless in wet conditions. I made a useless attempt at fixing the leak. Drugs are useless in treating the condition.
Recent Examples on the Web Still, a better long-lasting vaccine doesn’t guarantee enough people will be willing to take it, and even an improved vaccine will be useless if most refuse it. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, 17 June 2022 In her estimation, enhanced gun regulations would be useless because the ones that already exist didn’t prevent her son’s death. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 8 June 2022 But his high-octane stuff was useless against the Yankees, who swung and missed at only three of those pitches and fouled off 28 others. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2022 Hydroxychloroquine was ultimately shown to be useless against Covid. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Just like that, the weapon that made Thor complete was destroyed and rendered useless. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 May 2022 At best, this is a pain; at worst, tasks or value-adding use cases are rendered useless due to resulting health and safety concerns. Mark Lippett, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Horsepower is useless if wheels are slipping, so Audi fits the SQ7 (and the rest of its lineup) with its quattro permanent all-wheel drive system that automatically distributes power precisely where it is needed. Michael Harley, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Often, in drug development, Dr. Friedman says, the drug dose has to be fine tuned — too much is dangerous and too little is useless. New York Times, 17 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of useless

1593, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for useless

Time Traveler

The first known use of useless was in 1593

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Dictionary Entries Near useless

use inheritance



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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Useless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for useless


use·​less | \ ˈyüs-ləs How to pronounce useless (audio) \

Kids Definition of useless

: being of or having no use

Other Words from useless

uselessly adverb
uselessness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on useless

Nglish: Translation of useless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of useless for Arabic Speakers


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