- the state or quality of being useful; usefulness: This chemical has no utility as an agricultural fertilizer.
- something useful; a useful thing.
- a public service, as a telephone or electric-light system, a streetcar or railroad line, or the like.Compare public utility(def 1).
- Often utilities. a useful or advantageous factor or feature: the relative utilities of a religious or a secular education.
- Economics. the capacity of a commodity or a service to satisfy some human want.
- the principle and end of utilitarian ethics; well-being or happiness; that which is conducive to the happiness and well-being of the greatest number.
- Computers. utility program.
- utilities, stocks or bonds of public utilities.
- a grade of beef immediately below commercial.
- (of domestic animals) raised or kept as a potentially profitable product rather than for show or as pets: utility breeds; utility livestock.
- having or made for a number of useful or practical purposes rather than a single, specialized one: a utility knife.
- designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like: a utility vehicle; utility furniture.
Origin of utility
Examples from the Web for utility
In essence, he “invented” the idea of a utility company, which would power the light bulbs and other devices people might plug in.From Edison to Jobs
The Daily Beast
September 25, 2014
According to the courts, the Internet is not considered a utility and therefore not subject to such regulations.Porn Fights For Your Right to Surf: Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube Lead Charge For Net Neutrality
September 13, 2014
In 2010, in what it says was the first such effort by a U.S. utility, APS placed panels on 125 homes in Flagstaff—for no charge.Panel Discussion
The Daily Beast
September 8, 2014
Much like Cosmo itself, the slideshow is pretty to look at but lacking in substance and utility.I Tried Cosmo’s Lesbian Sex Tips and They Were Terrible
July 30, 2014
So, the pair set about tapping into that world to find partners who might appreciate the utility of a dead, frozen kitten.Brooklyn’s Museum of Death: Inside Morbid Anatomy’s House of Intriguing Horrors
July 10, 2014
After all their piety was aimless and of no utility to humanity.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
This was the fashion of the day, though its utility, on the whole, may very well be questioned.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
There is no doubt, replied Altamont, of its utility; but how would you contrive to make it?The Field of Ice
I do not ask for proofs of genius, I ask for solid proofs of utility.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
These powerful objections were only met with excuses of convenience and utility.Roman Catholicism in Spain
- the quality of practical use; usefulness; serviceability
- (as modifier)a utility fabric
- something useful
- a public service, such as the bus system; public utility
- (as modifier)utility vehicle
- the ability of a commodity to satisfy human wants
- the amount of such satisfactionSee disutility
- 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 and History for utility
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.