[yoo-ten-suh l]


any of the instruments or vessels commonly used in a kitchen, dairy, etc.: eating utensils; baking utensils.
any instrument, vessel, or tool serving a useful purpose: smoking utensils; fishing utensils; farming utensils.

Origin of utensil

1325–75; Middle English (collective singular): household articles < Middle French utensile < Latin ūtēnsilia, neuter plural of ūtēnsilis useful, derivative of ūtī to use

Synonyms for utensil

2. See tool.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for utensil

Contemporary Examples of utensil

  • “When the dog licks the utensil, wash it seven times, and rub it with earth the eighth time,” advised one hadith.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Lighter Side of Islam

    Neil MacFarquhar

    May 6, 2009

Historical Examples of utensil

  • They have requisitioned every utensil that will hold water in the village.

  • There could be no other such in the palace, where every utensil was gold or silver.

  • Every utensil used must be ice-cold, the jelly must be quite cold, but not set.

    Choice Cookery

    Catherine Owen

  • This utensil would be troublesome to use in an orchard, or on stumpy ground.

    The Peanut Plant

    B. W. Jones

  • I don't like a single dish or utensil in sight when the kitchen is in order.

British Dictionary definitions for utensil



an implement, tool, or container for practical usewriting utensils

Word Origin for utensil

C14 utensele, via Old French from Latin ūtēnsilia necessaries, from ūtēnsilis available for use, from ūtī to use
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 utensil

late 14c., from Old French utensile "implement," from Latin utensilia "materials, things for use," noun use of neuter plural of utensilis "fit for use," from uti (see use).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper