[ yoos-fuhl ]
/ ˈyus fəl /


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.

Nearby words

  1. use-by date,
  2. useable,
  3. usecc,
  4. used,
  5. used to,
  6. usefully,
  7. useless,
  8. uselessly,
  9. usenet,
  10. user

Origin of useful

First recorded in 1585–95; use + -ful

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for useful

British Dictionary definitions for useful


/ (ˈjuːsfʊl) /


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 useful



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper