Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. uselessness
  • n. unprofitableness

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

  • n. 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.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • He stopped himself, realizing the inutility of ranting while the deft mind of the peeper searched underneath his overturning words.

    Wild Dreams of Reality, 5

  • Nine days since we had, by an artist, a lecture on "Painting", all to prove the worse than inutility of a Royal Academy.

    New Letters from Charles Brown to Joseph Severn

  • Organs or parts in this strange condition, bearing the plain stamp of inutility, are extremely common, or even general, throughout nature.

    Darwin and the vermiform appendix - The Panda's Thumb

  • We estimate palladium's weighted-average value through Q3 will accrete on a weekly basis commensurate with a geometric progression reflecting the scarcity of zinc as it is influenced by the inutility of the carbon filtration paradigm, decrementally.

    Jargon Spoils Analysts' Prose

  • We estimate Anglo's cash burn rate through Q3 will accrete on a weekly basis commensurate with a geometric progression reflecting the cost of capital as it is influenced by the inutility of the commercial paper market.

    Jargon Spoils Analysts' Prose

Comments

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

    May 22, 2009

  • Cf. dolce far niente.

    May 22, 2009

  • 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