What does utility mean?

Definitions for utility
yuˈtɪl ɪ tiutil·i·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word utility.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. utility, public utility, public utility company, public-service corporationnoun

    a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation

  2. utility, usefulnessnoun

    the quality of being of practical use

  3. utilitynoun

    the service (electric power or water or transportation) provided by a public utility

    "the cost of utilities never decreases"; "all the utilities were lost after the hurricane"

  4. utilitynoun

    (economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice

  5. utility program, utility, service programnoun

    (computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer

    "a computer system provides utility programs to perform the tasks needed by most users"

  6. utilityadjective

    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

    "the price of the house included all utilities"

  7. utility(a), utility-gradeadjective

    used of beef; usable but inferior

  8. utility(a), substitute(a)adjective

    capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team

    "a utility infielder"


  1. utilitynoun

    The ability to play multiple positions.

  2. utilitynoun

    The state or condition of being useful; usefulness.

  3. utilitynoun

    Something that is useful.

  4. utilitynoun

    The ability of a commodity to satisfy needs or wants; the satisfaction experienced by the consumer of that commodity.

  5. utilitynoun

    A service provider, such as an electric company or water company or its securities.

  6. utilitynoun

    A software program specifically designed to help manage and tune the computer hardware, operating system or application software, and perform a single task or a small range of tasks; as opposed to application software which tends to be software suites.

    I've bought a new disk utility that can recover deleted files.

  7. Etymology: From utilitet (Modern French utilité), ultimately from uti.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Utilitynoun

    Usefulness; profit; convenience; advantageousness.

    Etymology: utilité, Fr. utilitas, Lat.

    Those things which have long gone together, are confederate; whereas new things piece not so well; but though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    Should we blindly obey the restraints of physicians and astrologers, we should confine the utility of physick unto a very few days. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    M. Zulichem desired me that I would give a relation of the cure of the gout, that might be made publick, as a thing which might prove of common utility to so great numbers as were subject to that disease. William Temple.


  1. Utility

    As a topic of economics, utility is used to model worth or value. Its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or happiness as part of the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The term has been adapted and reapplied within neoclassical economics, which dominates modern economic theory, as a utility function that represents a single consumer's preference ordering over a choice set but is not comparable across consumers. This concept of utility is personal and based on choice rather than on pleasure received, and so is specified more rigorously than the original concept but makes it less useful (and controversial) for ethical decisions.


  1. utility

    Utility, in economics and business, refers to the satisfaction or benefit that a consumer derives from consuming a product, service, or action. It represents the measurement of the "usefulness" or value that consumers perceive in their choices. The principle of utility helps to understand how individuals and economies aim to gain optimal satisfaction in dealing with scarcity of resources.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Utilitynoun

    the quality or state of being useful; usefulness; production of good; profitableness to some valuable end; as, the utility of manure upon land; the utility of the sciences; the utility of medicines

  2. Utilitynoun

    adaptation to satisfy the desires or wants; intrinsic value. See Note under Value, 2

  3. Utilitynoun

    happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism


  1. Utility

    In economics, utility is a representation of preferences over some set of goods and services. Preferences have a utility representation so long as they are transitive, complete, and continuous. Utility is usually applied by economists in such constructs as the indifference curve, which plot the combination of commodities that an individual or a society would accept to maintain a given level of satisfaction. Individual utility and social utility can be construed as the value of a utility function and a social welfare function respectively. When coupled with production or commodity constraints, under some assumptions, these functions can be used to analyze Pareto efficiency, such as illustrated by Edgeworth boxes in contract curves. Such efficiency is a central concept in welfare economics. In finance, utility is applied to generate an individual's price for an asset called the indifference price. Utility functions are also related to risk measures, with the most common example being the entropic risk measure.

Editors Contribution

  1. utility

    A type of social enterprise, organization or form of nationalized service controlled and managed by a form of unity assembly, unity council, unity legislature, unity senate, unity house of representatives, unity parliament, unity government, local unity government, regional unity government, national unity government, european unity government and international unity government that provides a public service for a power network, water, electricity, solar power, broadband network and other types of service.

    The electricity utility agency is nationalized to ensure continued service, power to the people, optimum health, human rights and shared prosperity for all people.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 28, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'utility' in Nouns Frequency: #2224

How to pronounce utility?

How to say utility in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of utility in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of utility in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of utility in a Sentence

  1. Williamson County:

    The homeowners in the area had called the utility district saying that they were having water issues. And so, when Municipal utility district workers first came out, they discovered that a water pipe had broken. And there was a cave underneath the street.

  2. Jordan Peterson:

    There’s some real utility in gratitude.

  3. Doug Larson:

    Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two, opulence is when you have three - and paradise is when you have none.

  4. Monica Viego-Rodriguez:

    I haven't even seen a truck nearby. Polls are still down lines are down, I really have no idea. And it's been slowly coming back around the metro area, but I feel like my area has been forgotten. She said she does n’t know what the future will bring. Right now, we're scared about Puerto Rico's future. This is really, really serious for us, we don't know what's going to happen with us in the future. We don't know if we're going to keep getting some aid some help – it's scary for us. Help from U.S. mainland power companies has been coming in waves for months. But Monica Viego-Rodriguez still hasn't seen a light come on anywhere in Monica Viego-Rodriguez neighborhood since the hurricanes hit last fall. Monica Viego-Rodriguez can only buy perishable foods for Monica Viego-Rodriguez family that they can eat the same day.There is nowhere to store food other than a cooler that she keeps filled with ice on her balcony. More than 470,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, causing an estimated $ 140 billion in damages. As Puerto Rico experiences the longest and most devastating blackout in American history, 1,000 utility trucks and 1,500 workers from 22 electric companies from all over the U.S. are arriving on the island this week to help the existing crews on the job restore power. As crews carve their way through the catastrophic damage, their progress is slow. But they met a major milestone this month when 1 million customers had their power restored, and utility crews say they won't stop until everyone is back on line. Help from U.S. mainland power companies has been coming in waves for months. But some Puerto Rico residents say they still haven't seen a light come on anywhere in their neighborhood since the hurricanes hit last fall. ( REUTERS) There is no set timeframe, we're just here for the long haul.

  5. George Santayana, Life of Reason (1905) vol. 4, ch. 4:

    Music is essentially useless, as life is: but both have an ideal extension which lends utility to its conditions.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for utility

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فائدةArabic
  • užitek, užitečnostCzech
  • NützlichkeitGerman
  • χρησιμότηταGreek
  • utilecoEsperanto
  • utilidad, conveniencia, proveedor de serviciosSpanish
  • kasulikkusEstonian
  • ابزارPersian
  • hyödyllisyys, hyödyke, palveluFinnish
  • utilité, utilitaireFrench
  • mathScottish Gaelic
  • utilidadeGalician
  • fornitore, servizio, attrezzo, strumento, utilitàItalian
  • 実用品, 有用性, ユーティリティ, 効用Japanese
  • handigheid, hulpmiddel, handigs, bruikbaarheid, hulpprogramma, voorzieningDutch
  • użyteczność, program użytkowyPolish
  • utilidadePortuguese
  • folos, utilitateRomanian
  • обслу́живающая програ́мма, утилита, утили́та, поле́зность, [[полезныйRussian
  • úžitokSlovak
  • verk, vattenverk, leverantör, värmeverk, tillämpning, applikation, verktyg, kraftverk, tjänsteleverantör, användbarhet, lönsamhet, användbarSwedish
  • YararTurkish
  • hữu íchVietnamese

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"utility." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/utility>.

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    (slang) a merchant who deals in shoddy or inferior merchandise
    • A. schlockmeister
    • B. fervidness
    • C. instigation
    • D. jocularity

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