See more synonyms for useless on
  1. of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile: It is useless to reason with him.
  2. without useful qualities; of no practical good: a useless person; a useless gadget.

Origin of useless

First recorded in 1585–95; use + -less
Related formsuse·less·ly, adverbuse·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for useless

See more synonyms for on
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.

Antonyms for useless Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for uselessness

Contemporary Examples of uselessness

  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is to uselessness what Henry Ford was to the automobile.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Invest in Africa, Not Facebook

    Noah Kristula-Green

    May 18, 2012

Historical Examples of uselessness

  • Only last summer taught me the uselessness of an extra pair of trousers.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • Hrunting is bewitched, laid under a spell of uselessness, along with all other swords.



  • But he stopped, realizing the uselessness of such an explanation.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The uselessness of philosophers is explained by the circumstance that mankind will not use them.

  • And as he thought of the uselessness of it he laughed bitterly to himself.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for uselessness


  1. having no practical use or advantage
  2. informal ineffectual, weak, or stupidhe's useless at history
Derived Formsuselessly, adverbuselessness, 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 uselessness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper