utility

[yoo-til-i-tee]

noun, plural u·til·i·ties.

adjective


Origin of utility

1350–1400; Middle English utilite < Old French utelite < Latin ūtilitās, equivalent to ūtil(is) useful (see utile) + -itās -ity
Related formsnon·u·til·i·ty, noun, plural non·u·til·i·ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for utilities

utility

noun plural -ties

  1. the quality of practical use; usefulness; serviceability
  2. (as modifier)a utility fabric
something useful
  1. a public service, such as the bus system; public utility
  2. (as modifier)utility vehicle
economics
  1. the ability of a commodity to satisfy human wants
  2. the amount of such satisfactionSee disutility
statistics
  1. a measure of the total benefit or disadvantage attaching to each of a set of alternative courses of action
  2. (as modifier)utility function See also expected utility, decision theory
Also called: utility truck, (informal) ute Australian and NZ a small truck with an open body and low sides, often with a removable tarpaulin cover; pick-up
a piece of computer software designed for a routine task, such as examining or copying files

Word Origin for utility

C14: from Old French utelite, from Latin ūtilitās usefulness, 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 utilities

utility

n.

late 14c., "fact of being useful," from Old French utilite "usefulness" (late 13c.), earlier utilitet (12c.), from Latin utilitatem (nominative utilitas) "usefulness, serviceableness, profit," from utilis "usable," from uti (see use (v.)). As a shortened form of public utility it is recorded from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper