Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality of being useless or unprofitable; lack of utility; uselessness; unprofitableness.
  • noun Something that is useless.

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

  • noun Uselessness; the quality of being unprofitable; unprofitableness.

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

  • noun uselessness
  • noun unprofitableness

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

  • noun the quality of having no practical use

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • "To convey to the mind of a stranger the ridiculous excess of the inutility of the naval establishment of China would . . . be impossible," one observer declared in 1836.

    The War That Turned China Against the West

  • The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbors lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility.

    August « 2009 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbors lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility.

    derrick jensen & aric mcbay | what we leave behind « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • He added that he had “the most direct intelligence,” received in a way that “forbids a public use being made of it, that Clinton has in several conversations declared his opinion of the inutility of the UNION.”

    Ratification

  • See also Hamilton to Madison, May 19, 1788, ibid., 1102–03, in which Hamilton says he learned that Clinton “has in several conversations declared his opinion of the inutility of the UNION” from “the most direct intelligence,” although he could not make it public.

    Ratification

  • In chapter 14 of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin said, "On the view of each organic being and each separate organ having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable it is that parts ... should so frequently bear the plain stamp of inutility."

    Intelligent Design: Scientifically and Religiously Bankrupt

  • In chapter 14 of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Darwin said, "On the view of each organic being and each separate organ having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable it is that parts ... should so frequently bear the plain stamp of inutility."

    Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.: Intelligent Design: Scientifically and Religiously Bankrupt

  • See also Hamilton to Madison, May 19, 1788, ibid., 1102–03, in which Hamilton says he learned that Clinton “has in several conversations declared his opinion of the inutility of the UNION” from “the most direct intelligence,” although he could not make it public.

    Ratification

  • See also Hamilton to Madison, May 19, 1788, ibid., 1102–03, in which Hamilton says he learned that Clinton “has in several conversations declared his opinion of the inutility of the UNION” from “the most direct intelligence,” although he could not make it public.

    Ratification

  • He added that he had “the most direct intelligence,” received in a way that “forbids a public use being made of it, that Clinton has in several conversations declared his opinion of the inutility of the UNION.”

    Ratification

Comments

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  • Uselessness, I'm surprised you haven't listed this word! I quite like it actually, probably because I associate it with Oscar Wilde's aesthetics, and for some reason I hear echoing la belle inutilité and, more distantly, Pushkin's И far niente мой закон . . . ("And far niente is my law . . .") from Eugene Onegin. In other words, inutility is not simply about being useless as choosing to follow a principle other than practicality.

    September 26, 2008

  • Cf. dolce far niente.

    May 22, 2009

  • I'm too lazy to look this up, yawned Oblomov.

    May 22, 2009