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[yoo-zuh-buh l] /ˈyu zə bəl/
available or convenient for use:
2000 square feet of usable office space.
capable of being used:
That saw is no longer usable.
Origin of usable
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French; see use, -able
Related forms
usability, usableness, noun
useability, useableness, noun
usably, useably, adverb
nonreusable, nonreuseable, adjective, noun
nonusable, nonuseable, adjective
reusability, reuseability, noun
reusable, reuseable, adjective
reusableness, reuseableness, noun
unusable, unuseable, adjective
unusableness, unuseableness, noun
unusably, unuseably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for usability
  • Meier said his approach to measure usability could catch on and be used for many other products.
  • Instead the actual usability of the product is not discussed in the article at all.
  • Careful indexing made a real difference to a computer's usability.
  • Tech firms also hire people with psychology backgrounds as usability researchers.
  • It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of usability.
  • And it's quite a hurdle for technology to achieve to match that level of usability.
  • Need for user-centered design and focus on usability.
  • The user interface has been refined, and many usability issues have been addressed.
  • That's what libraries are good at: making resources available to meet patrons' needs, with minimum fuss and maximum usability.
  • It's so uncomfortable that this usability defect would likely have sunk the prospects of the first typewriter.
British Dictionary definitions for usability


able to be used
Derived Forms
usability, useability, usableness, useableness, noun
usably, useably, adverb
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 usability



late 14c., from Old French usable (early 14c.), from user (see use). Not a common word before c.1840. Related: Usably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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usability in Technology
The effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which users can achieve tasks in a particular environment of a product. High usability means a system is: easy to learn and remember; efficient, visually pleasing and fun to use; and quick to recover from errors.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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