• synonyms


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


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1, 2. profitable, efficacious, beneficial.


1, 2. useless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for useful


  1. able to be used advantageously, beneficially, or for several purposes; helpful or serviceable
  2. informal commendable or capablea useful term's work
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  1. Australian informal an odd-jobman or general factotum
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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 useful


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper