utility: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (y-til'i-tē), [key]
— n., pl. adj. -ties,
  1. the state or quality of being useful; usefulness: This chemical has no utility as an agricultural fertilizer.
  2. something useful; a useful thing.
  3. a public service, as a telephone or electric-light system, a streetcar or railroad line, or the like. Cf.(def. 1).
  4. Often,a useful or advantageous factor or feature: the relative utilities of a religious or a secular education.
  5. the capacity of a commodity or a service to satisfy some human want.
  6. the principle and end of utilitarian ethics; well-being or happiness; that which is conducive to the happiness and well-being of the greatest number.
  7. See
  8. stocks or bonds of public utilities.
  9. a grade of beef immediately below commercial.
  1. (of domestic animals) raised or kept as a potentially profitable product rather than for show or as pets: utility breeds; utility livestock.
  2. having or made for a number of useful or practical purposes rather than a single, specialized one: a utility knife.
  3. designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like: a utility vehicle; utility furniture.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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