Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking in utility or serviceability; not useful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A useless thing.
  • Unprofitable; useless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Useless; unprofitable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective obsolete useless; unprofitable

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not worth using

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin inūtilis : in-, not; see in– + ūtilis, useful; see utile.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin inutilis: compare French inutile. See in- not, utile.

Examples

  • At City Hall, Mayor Tomas Osmeña fumed over the incident, saying the LTO and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are "inutile" for failing to take away the franchise of participating drivers and operators.

    Sun.Star Network Online - Your Source of Philippine Community News

  • 'inutile' and 'prostituted' with Merceditas Gutierrez at its helm, insisting she should be impeached.

    WN.com - Articles related to Brandy anger forces Bulgaria to scrap tax increase

  • Consumerism creates trash, lots of it and very quickly, and also inevitably bad art, and crafts formerly useful things made inutile and unaffordable by their presumption to be beautiful.

    Brian D. Cohen: Things

  • Consumerism creates trash, lots of it and very quickly, and also inevitably bad art, and crafts formerly useful things made inutile and unaffordable by their presumption to be beautiful.

    Brian D. Cohen: Things

  • Beyond the tilled plain, beyond the toy roofs, there would be a slow suffusion of inutile loveliness, a low sun in a platinum haze with a warm, peeled-peach tinge pervading the upper edge of a two-dimensional dove-grey cloud fusing with the distant amorous mist.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • Beyond the tilled plain, beyond the toy roofs, there would be a slow suffusion of inutile loveliness, a low sun in a platinum haze with a warm, peeled-peach tinge pervading the upper edge of a two-dimensional dove-grey cloud fusing with the distant amorous mist.

    Nabokov's Art as Story

  • However, it becomes complicated and inutile when someone dictates upon the mind of any citizen journalist who has his own sphere of influence in carrying out his passion for blogging, by telling him what to do, even if what he wrote was an opinion piece.

    Misinterpretation of An Opinion Piece

  • However, it becomes complicated and inutile when someone dictates upon the mind of any citizen journalist who has his own sphere of influence in carrying out his passion for blogging, by telling him what to do, even if what he wrote was an opinion piece.

    Misinterpretation of An Opinion Piece

  • In the meantime, the inutile Philippine labor and embassy officials in Saudi Arabia are more than reluctant to help their own fellow countrymen.

    Hundreds of stranded OFWs in Jeddah call for help

  • Otherwise, this undertaking will be another inutile project in the making because China has other agenda in mind.

    Spratly oil exploration takes off

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • I know what it means, but this word remainds me of Inuits. And dogs. It's quite an elegant word, oddly, until you deconstruct it, and then it suddenly starts sounding less impressive....

    October 31, 2007

  • I'd never thought about that until you told me, but yes. I'm sure knowing a smattering of Japanese is not helping in this regard.

    November 1, 2007

  • This is the name of a song in the musical "In the Heights."

    September 26, 2008

  • The noun this forms – inutility – is quite evocative, to me at least.

    September 26, 2008

  • Composing scales beside the rails

    That flanked a field of corn,

    A farmer’s boy with vicious joy

    Performed upon a horn:

    The vagrant airs, the fragrant airs

    Around that field that strayed,

    Took flight before the flagrant airs

    That noisome urchin played.

    He played with care “The Maiden’s Prayer;�?

    He played “God Save the Queen,�?

    “Die Wacht am Rhein,�? and “Auld Lang Syne,�?

    And “Wearing of the Green:�?

    With futile toots, and brutal toots,

    And shrill chromatic scales,

    And utterly inutile toots,

    And agonizing wails.

    The while he played, around him strayed,

    And calmly chewed the cud,

    Some thirty-nine assorted kine,

    All ankle-deep in mud:

    They stamped about and tramped about

    That mud, till all the troupe

    Made noises, as they ramped about,

    Like school-boys eating soup.

    Till, growing bored, with one accord

    They broke the fence forlorn:

    The field was doomed. The cows consumed

    Two-thirds of all the corn,

    And viciously, maliciously,

    Went prancing o’er the loam.

    That landscape expeditiously

    Resembled harvest-home.

    “Most idle ass of all your class,�?

    The farmer said with scorn:

    “Just see my son, what you have done!

    The cows are in the corn!�?

    “Oh, drat,�? he said, “the brat!�? he said.

    The cowherd seemed to rouse.

    “My friend, it’s worse than that,�? he said.

    “The corn is in the cows.�?

    The moral lies before our eyes.

    When tending kine and corn,

    Don’t spend your noons in tooting tunes

    Upon a blatant horn:

    Or scaling, and assailing, and

    With energy immense,

    Your cows will take a railing, and

    The farmer take offense.

    - "The Harmonious Heedlessness of Little Boy Blue", by Guy Wetmore Carryl

    May 22, 2009