Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[yoos-lis] /ˈyus lɪs/
of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile:
It is useless to reason with him.
without useful qualities; of no practical good:
a useless person; a useless gadget.
Origin of useless
First recorded in 1585-95; use + -less
Related forms
uselessly, adverb
uselessness, noun
1. fruitless, profitless, valueless, worthless, inutile. Useless, futile, ineffectual, vain refer to that which is unavailing. That is useless which is unavailing because of the circumstances of the case or some inherent defect: It is useless to cry over spilt milk. Futile suggests wasted effort and complete failure to attain a desired end: All attempts were futile. That which is ineffectual weakly applies energy in an ill-advised way and does not produce a desired effect: an ineffectual effort. That which is vain is fruitless or hopeless even after all possible effort: It is vain to keep on hoping. 2. unserviceable, unusable.
1. effective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for useless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Taters, with his own horse and the now useless led horse, was in attendance.

    Victor's Triumph Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Once she was struggling for voice to speak to him, and he mocked her useless efforts.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • As useless to reject her conclusions as to deny the laws and the principles of mathematics!

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • “Repining is useless, if not sinful,” observed Mary Percival.

    The Settlers in Canada Frederick Marryat
  • He thought it useless, moreover, to remain a longer time in these latitudes.

British Dictionary definitions for useless


having no practical use or advantage
(informal) ineffectual, weak, or stupid: he's useless at history
Derived Forms
uselessly, adverb
uselessness, noun
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 useless

1590s, from use (n.) + -less. Related: Uselessly; uselessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for useless

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for useless

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for useless