9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[yoo-til-i-tair-ee-uh n] /yuˌtɪl ɪˈtɛər i ən/
pertaining to or consisting in utility.
having regard to utility or usefulness rather than beauty, ornamentation, etc.
of, relating to, or adhering to the doctrine of utilitarianism.
an adherent of utilitarianism.
Origin of utilitarian
1775-85; utilit(y) + -arian
Related forms
antiutilitarian, adjective, noun
nonutilitarian, adjective, noun
unutilitarian, adjective
2. practical, useful, functional, sensible. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for utilitarian
  • Carvers and stone sculptors have left utilitarian objects and artworks of surprising aesthetic quality.
  • Although they are fascinating from a purely scientific point of view, their utilitarian value is not so clear.
  • It cannot be placed in a utilitarian context, because its violation of human dignity is so grave it is an absolute evil.
  • Many doctors notice them only in the casual, utilitarian way that one might notice a waitress or a bartender.
  • Knowing how to extract and control metal was paramount for utilitarian and decorative purposes.
  • Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements.
  • Conservation is a moral question, and probably not a utilitarian imperative.
  • These utilitarian beasts of burden are expected to do one critical thing without fail: wake us up in the morning.
  • So, the utilitarian-inspired mechanical horse instead became a fancy toy for aristocrats and the rising bourgeoisie.
  • Inside, it's a typical start-up, minimally equipped with utilitarian office furniture.
British Dictionary definitions for utilitarian


of or relating to utilitarianism
designed for use rather than beauty
a person who believes in utilitarianism
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 utilitarian

1781, coined by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) from utility. One guided by the doctrine of the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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