[ yoo-til-i-tee ]
/ yu藞t瑟l 瑟 ti /
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noun, plural u路til路i路ties.
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Origin of utility

First recorded in 1350鈥1400; Middle English utilite, from Old French utilite, utelite, from Latin 奴tilit膩t-, stem of 奴tilit膩s, equivalent to 奴til(is) 鈥渦seful鈥 + -it膩s noun suffix; see utile, -ity


non路u路til路i路ty, noun, plural non路u路til路i路ties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does utility mean?

A utility is something that is of service or serves a purpose.

Broadly, a utility is anything that is useful. It is paired with many nouns that are commonly useful, such as a utility knife (a knife useful for cutting many things), a utility belt (a belt with pockets and loops to hold many things), and a utility room (a room in a house where the furnace, washing machine and other appliances are kept).

In relation to modern life, a utility is a public service used by a household, such as water, electricity, or trash and recycling pickups. A bill for one of these services might be referred to as a utility bill.

Utility can also refer to specific benefits that you would receive from taking part in an event or service, as in What is the utility of joining a union?

In economics, utility specifically refers to a product鈥檚 or service鈥檚 ability to satisfy consumer needs.

Example: That machine has great utility if you know how to use it.

Where does utility come from?

The first records of the term utility come from the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin 奴tilis, meaning 鈥渦seful.鈥 Utility can be used as a noun form of the word useful, as well as other meanings.

You might have heard of a public utility. This is a business that provides an essential public service, or utility, such as trash removal or TV cable service. Because what they provide is considered necessary to support human life, public utilities are regulated by the government. People who work for these businesses are often generally called utility workers.

If you鈥檝e looked around in your computer, you might have found a program called a utility. A utility program is software that runs some standard tasks and is usually important to the correct functioning of the software it is associated with, especially for the computer system.

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What are some other forms related to utility?

What are some synonyms for utility?

What are some words that share a root or word element with utility?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing utility?

How is utility used in real life?

Utility is normally used in the context of work or finances. It鈥檚 also used frequently in terms of public services, such as electric and water services.

Try using utility!

Is utility used correctly in the following sentence?

Not everyone agrees that internet access is a utility like electricity, but most people can鈥檛 manage their lives without it.

How to use utility in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for utility

/ (ju藧藞t瑟l瑟t瑟) /

noun plural -ties

Word Origin for utility

C14: from Old French utelite, from Latin 奴tilit膩s usefulness, from 奴t墨 to use
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012