Definitions

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

  • adjective Of, relating to, or in the interests of utility.
  • adjective Exhibiting or stressing utility over other values; practical.
  • adjective Of, characterized by, or advocating utilitarianism.
  • noun One who advocates or practices utilitarianism.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Consisting in or pertaining to utility; having regard to utility rather than beauty and the like; specifically, making the greatest good of the greatest number the prime consideration. See the quotations.
  • noun One who holds the doctrine of utilitarianism.

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

  • noun One who holds the doctrine of utilitarianism.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to utility; consisting in utility; �iming at utility as distinguished from beauty, ornament, etc.; sometimes, reproachfully, evincing, or characterized by, a regard for utility of a lower kind, or marked by a sordid spirit.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to utilitarianism; supporting utilitarianism.

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

  • adjective of or relating to utility
  • adjective practical and functional, not just for show.
  • noun Someone who practices or advocates utilitarianism.

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

  • adjective having a useful function
  • noun someone who believes that the value of a thing depends on its utility
  • adjective having utility often to the exclusion of values

Etymologies

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

[utilit(y) + –arian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1781 utility +‎ -arian

Examples

  • Guy Gavriel Kay approached the topic from what he termed a utilitarian perspective of the author who uses time as one of many tools in the authorial toolbox for providing narrative solutions.

    March « 2009 « Dynamic Subspace

  • Guy Gavriel Kay approached the topic from what he termed a utilitarian perspective of the author who uses time as one of many tools in the authorial toolbox for providing narrative solutions.

    ICFA 2009, When Time is Out of Joint: Alternative Times in Fantasy Panel

  • I probably shouldn't have expressed my objection in utilitarian "does it do more harm than good?" terms.

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • While the period of interference from political totalitarianism has passed, is it not the case that frequently, across the globe, the exercise of reason and academic research are – subtly and not so subtly – constrained to bow to the pressures of ideological interest groups and the lure of short-term utilitarian or pragmatic goals?

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • While the period of interference from political totalitarianism has passed, is it not the case that frequently, across the globe, the exercise of reason and academic research are – subtly and not so subtly – constrained to bow to the pressures of ideological interest groups and the lure of short-term utilitarian or pragmatic goals?

    Landmark Address on the Responsibilities of Universities Freedom has a purpose

  • Mill famously tried to accomodate this fact within utilitarian structure with a doctrine of “higher” and “lower” pleasures, though not especially convincingly.

    In Search of Higher Pleasures

  • While the period of interference from political totalitarianism has passed, is it not the case that frequently, across the globe, the exercise of reason and academic research are – subtly and not so subtly – constrained to bow to the pressures of ideological interest groups and the lure of short-term utilitarian or pragmatic goals?

    Academic freedom found in the authority of truth

  • He frames his theory in utilitarian terms: because women tend to be more group-oriented, and to be paid less, we may expect them to favour a political system that taxes heavily and spends the taxes on communal improvements, such as crèches or police patrols.

    December 25th, 2005

  • According to most legal scholars, the writers of the Constitution viewed copyright in utilitarian terms.

    The Heavenly Jukebox

  • According to most legal scholars, the writers of the Constitution viewed copyright in utilitarian terms.

    The Heavenly Jukebox

Comments

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  • "I'm a Utilitarian, so I don't see the rule against lying as absolute; it's always subject to some overriding utility which may prevent its exercise." - Peter Singer

    July 30, 2008