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[yoos-fuh l] /ˈyus fəl/
being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, helpful, or of good effect:
a useful member of society.
of practical use, as for doing work; producing material results; supplying common needs:
the useful arts; useful work.
Origin of useful
1585-95; use + -ful
Related forms
usefully, adverb
usefulness, noun
unuseful, adjective
unusefully, adverb
unusefulness, noun
1, 2. profitable, efficacious, beneficial.
1, 2. useless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for usefulness
  • It's something that's not typically thought of outside of its usefulness as a toy.
  • The past, having outlived its usefulness, had been carpentered into the future.
  • Her virtue had dwelt in hardness, and she had poured forth her unstinted usefulness with a bitter smile upon her lips.
  • In doing this they are supported by a sense of duty and the respect paid to usefulness.
  • Granting even that a considerable proportion of the third unheard from are unsuccessful, this is a record of usefulness.
  • Its usefulness or fruitfulness can neither add to nor take away anything from this value.
  • Nature and religion are the bands of friendship, excellence and usefulness are its great endearments.
  • The usefulness of allegory and astronomy is obvious.
  • Our usefulness consists in replacing the unconscious by the conscious, in translating the unconscious into the conscious.
  • It may be that they simply discover their usefulness by accident.
British Dictionary definitions for usefulness


able to be used advantageously, beneficially, or for several purposes; helpful or serviceable
(informal) commendable or capable: a useful term's work
(Austral, informal) an odd-jobman or general factotum
Derived Forms
usefully, adverb
usefulness, noun
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 usefulness



1590s, from use (n.) + -full. Related: Usefully; usefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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