"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[fyoo-til-i-tee] /fyuˈtɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural futilities for 2, 3.
the quality of being futile; ineffectiveness; uselessness.
a trifle or frivolity:
the large collection of futilities that clutter our minds.
a futile act or event.
Origin of futility
1615-25; < Latin fūtilitās. See futile, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for futility
  • Repairs to the existing fence have been an exercise in futility, as mended segments are often torn down within hours.
  • futility of interjectional and sound-imitative theories of the origin of speech.
  • Many of his poems are full of a slow, sad contemplation of life and a reflection of its brave futility.
  • In the jargon of the industry, the trials crossed the futility boundary.
  • Remember there are control groups in all the experiments, so the futility factor would be the same for both groups.
  • Searching for any particle is an exercise in futility.
  • One hopes it will prove the futility of using the debt ceiling as a tool to bludgeon your political opponents into submission.
  • There were plenty of reasons to oppose such an intervention, mainly on the grounds of futility.
  • Sort of puts after-the-fact data mining into perspective as being an exercise in meaning futility.
  • Enthusiasm contended with a sense of futility, and the urge to create with the compulsion to destroy.
British Dictionary definitions for futility


noun (pl) -ties
lack of effectiveness or success
lack of purpose or meaning
something futile
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 futility

1620s, from French futilité or directly from Latin futilitatem (nominative futilitas) "worthlessness," from futilis (see futile). Hence, jocular futilitarian (1827).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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