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

  • noun The quality or condition of being useful; usefulness.
  • noun A useful article or device.
  • noun A public utility.
  • noun A commodity or service, such as electricity, water, or public transportation, that is provided by a public utility.
  • noun Computers A utility program.
  • adjective Used, serving, or working in several capacities as needed, especially.
  • adjective Prepared to play any of the smaller theatrical roles on short notice.
  • adjective Capable of playing as a substitute in any of several positions.
  • adjective Designed for various often heavy-duty practical uses.
  • adjective Raised or kept for the production of a farm product rather than for show or as pets.
  • adjective Of the lowest US Government grade.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In political economics, the capacity of an object for the satisfaction of a human want.
  • noun The character of being useful; usefulness; profitableness; the state of being serviceable or conducive to some desirable or valuable end.
  • noun Use; profit.
  • noun A useful thing.

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

  • noun The quality or state of being useful; usefulness; production of good; profitableness to some valuable end.
  • noun (Polit. Econ.) Adaptation to satisfy the desires or wants; intrinsic value. See Note under Value, 2.
  • noun Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism.

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

  • noun The state or condition of being useful; usefulness.
  • noun Something that is useful.
  • noun economics The ability of a commodity to satisfy needs or wants; the satisfaction experienced by the consumer of that commodity.
  • noun business, finance A service provider, such as an electric company or water company; or, the securities of such a provider.
  • noun computing A software program designed to perform a single task or a small range of tasks, often to help manage and tune computer hardware, an operating system or application software.
  • noun sports The ability to play multiple positions.

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

  • noun a facility composed of one or more pieces of equipment connected to or part of a structure and designed to provide a service such as heat or electricity or water or sewage disposal
  • noun (economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice
  • noun a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
  • noun the service (electric power or water or transportation) provided by a public utility
  • adjective capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team
  • adjective used of beef; usable but inferior
  • noun the quality of being of practical use
  • noun (computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer


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

Middle English utilite, from Old French, from Latin ūtilitās, from ūtilis, useful, from ūtī, to use.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French utilitet ("usefulness") (Modern French utilité), ultimately from Latin uti ("to use, enjoy").


  • That is, when we say that an agent acts so as to maximize her utility, we mean by ˜utility™ simply whatever it is that the agent's behavior suggests her to consistently desire.

    Game Theory

  • PKG_SOURCE: = bridge-utils-$ (PKG_VERSION). tar.gz PKG_SOURCE_URL: = @SF / bridge PKG_MD5SUM: = 9b7dc52656f5cbec846a7ba3299f73bd PKG_CAT: = zcat include $ (INCLUDE_DIR) / package. mk define Package / bridge SECTION: = base CATEGORY: = Network DEFAULT: = y TITLE: = Ethernet bridging configuration utility DESCRIPTION: = Ethernet bridging configuration utility\\\

    OpenWrt : News

  • Finally, still other neoclassicists use the term utility as a formal attribute, a common denominator, according to which all specific quests for satisfaction can be ranked, a step needed to allow mathematization and to shore up the assumption of a mono-utility world but with no substantive attributes, the great X.


  • Making complex hydrocarbons obsolete in utility is something only a lawyer could come up with; sorry.

    Is That Legal?: Coddling the Coddlers

  • Using the utility is about as easy as it gets — just launch it and go through the screens to scan your computer for compatibility with the newest version of Windows.

    Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Scans Your System For Compatibility | Lifehacker Australia

  • Using the utility is a no-brainer: just start it up and choose whether to start the screensaver or turn off the monitor when you lock the workstation — the options for pausing media or setting your messenger status are under the Options button.

    MonitorES Pauses Media, Turns Off Monitor When You Lock Your PC | Lifehacker Australia

  • But many Web sites are network goods (in the economic as well as technical sense), such that their utility is a function of large numbers of people converging on a few big ones.

    Equal Opportunity Internet

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission said its investigation of this type of vehicle, which it calls a utility terrain vehicle, or UTV, was prompted by various factors, including the number of accident reports and the lawsuits.

    U.S. Probes Off-Road Vehicles

  • Additionally, the average roll when landing on a utility is a bit lower or higher than 7 depending on the utility and the jail strategy, which affects the rent value.

    Boing Boing: September 14, 2003 - September 20, 2003 Archives

  • AT&T also offers what it calls utility hosting based partly on 3PAR's InServ Storage Server arrays.

    SearchStorage: News and trends in the storage industry


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