1. 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.
Utility, Usefulness. Usefulness has an Anglo-Saxon prefix, utility is Latin; and hence the former is used chiefly of things in the concrete, while the latter is employed more in a general and abstract sense. Thus, we speak of the utility of an invention, and the usefulness of the thing invented; of the utility of an institution, and the usefulness of an individual. So beauty and utility (not usefulness) are brought into comparison. Still, the words are often used interchangeably.
Origin: OE. Utilite, F. Utilite, L. Utilitas, fr. Utilis useful.
(01 Mar 1998)
|Bookmark with:||word visualiser||Go and visit our forums|