being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, helpful, or of good effect: a useful member of society.
of practical use, as for doing work; producing material results; supplying common needs: the useful arts; useful work.

Origin of useful

First recorded in 1585–95; use + -ful
Related formsuse·ful·ly, adverbuse·ful·ness, nounun·use·ful, adjectiveun·use·ful·ly, adverbun·use·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for useful

Antonyms for useful

1, 2. useless. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unuseful

Historical Examples of unuseful

  • From railroad to canyon there is not an unuseful mile or hour.

    The Book of the National Parks

    Robert Sterling Yard

  • If in the meantime it deserve the name of no unuseful trifle, 'tis all it is capable of.

    Concord Days

    A. Bronson Alcott

  • Whereupon I pointed the not unuseful moral that what I had said applied to Mademoiselle also.

    A Tatter of Scarlet

    S. R. Crockett

  • He cares not how unuseful anything be, so it be but unuseful and rare.

  • The Boche makes a present to France of only such human wreckage as is unuseful for his purposes.

    Out To Win

    Coningsby Dawson

British Dictionary definitions for unuseful



able to be used advantageously, beneficially, or for several purposes; helpful or serviceable
informal commendable or capablea useful term's work


Australian informal an odd-jobman or general factotum
Derived Formsusefully, adverbusefulness, 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

Word Origin and History for unuseful



1590s, from use (n.) + -full. Related: Usefully; usefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper