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[yoo-ten-suh l] /yuˈtɛn səl/
any of the instruments or vessels commonly used in a kitchen, dairy, etc.:
eating utensils; baking utensils.
any instrument, vessel, or tool serving a useful purpose:
smoking utensils; fishing utensils; farming utensils.
1325-75; Middle English (collective singular): household articles < Middle French utensile < Latin ūtēnsilia, neuter plural of ūtēnsilis useful, derivative of ūtī to use
2. See tool. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for utensils
  • Open shelves put dishware and utensils you use every day within easy reach.
  • And there are compartments and drawers for dishware, utensils, and appliances.
  • Instead of plastic disposable utensils, the company now uses recyclable ones.
  • Remind your favorite take-out place to leave out the plastic utensils when they pack your food to go.
  • He sold all the kitchen utensils, all the knives and forks and spoons, all the dishes right down to the sugar bowl.
  • Those surface treatments can be damaged by metal utensils, eventually wear off, and can be toxic if they get into your food.
  • The first application was nonstick coating on frying pans and cooking utensils.
  • They found lots of wood-huge posts and roof timbers, and also utensils.
  • From takeout food to office parties, plastic utensils are everywhere.
  • The wreck and its debris field contain a diverse collection of tools, cooking utensils, and personal effects of the crew.
British Dictionary definitions for utensils


an implement, tool, or container for practical use: writing utensils
Word Origin
C14 utensele, via Old French from Latin ūtēnsilia necessaries, from ūtēnsilis available for use, from ūtī to use
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for utensils



late 14c., from Old French utensile "implement," from Latin utensilia "materials, things for use," noun use of neuter plural of utensilis "fit for use," from uti (see use).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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