Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[fyoo-til-i-tee] /fyuˈtɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural futilities for 2, 3.
the quality of being futile; ineffectiveness; uselessness.
a trifle or frivolity:
the large collection of futilities that clutter our minds.
a futile act or event.
Origin of futility
From the Latin word fūtilitās, dating back to 1615-25. See futile, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for futility
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was evident that Dick perceived the futility of argument.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • As an instance of the futility of comparisons, I will mention one experience.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • The futility of argument was apparent, and he turned and left the workshop.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • But I want you to understand the futility of all you may think needful to tell me.

  • The sight produced in him a melancholy impression of immensity and futility.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for futility


noun (pl) -ties
lack of effectiveness or success
lack of purpose or meaning
something futile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for futility

1620s, from French futilité or directly from Latin futilitatem (nominative futilitas) "worthlessness," from futilis (see futile). Hence, jocular futilitarian (1827).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for futility

Word Value for futility

Scrabble Words With Friends