Utility

U*til"i*ty

(?), n. [OE. utilite, F. utilit, L. utilitas, fr. utilis useful. See Utile.]
[1913 Webster]

1. The quality or state of being useful; usefulness; production of good; profitableness to some valuable end; as, the utility of manure upon land; the utility of the sciences; the utility of medicines.
[1913 Webster]

The utility of the enterprises was, however, so great and obvious that all opposition proved useless.
Macaulay.
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2. (Polit. Econ.) Adaptation to satisfy the desires or wants; intrinsic value. See Note under Value, 2.
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Value in use is utility, and nothing else, and in political economy should be called by that name and no other.
F. A. Walker.
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3. Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism. J. S. Mill.
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Syn. -- Usefulness; advantageous; benefit; profit; avail; service. -- Utility, Usefulness. Usefulness has an Anglo-Saxon prefix, utility is Latin; and hence the former is used chiefly of things in the concrete, while the latter is employed more in a general and abstract sense. Thus, we speak of the utility of an invention, and the usefulness of the thing invented; of the utility of an institution, and the usefulness of an individual. So beauty and utility (not usefulness) are brought into comparison. Still, the words are often used interchangeably.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Fri 25th July 2014