Definitions for: Utility


[n] the service provided by a utility company; "the cost of utilities never decreases"
[n] a facility composed of one or more pieces of equipment connected to or part of a structure and designed to provide a service such as heat or electricity or water or sewage disposal; "the price of the house included all utilities"
[n] the quality of being of practical use
[n] (computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer; "a computer system provides utility programs to perform the tasks needed by most users"
[n] a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
[n] (economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice



Webster (1913) Definition: U*til"i*ty, n. [OE. utilite, F. utilit['e], L.
utilitas, fr. utilis useful. See Utile.]
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.

The utility of the enterprises was, however, so
great and obvious that all opposition proved
useless. --Macaulay.

2. (Polit. Econ.) Adaptation to satisfy the desires or wants;
intrinsic value. See Note under Value, 2.

Value in use is utility, and nothing else, and in
political economy should be called by that name and
no other. --F. A.
Walker.

3. Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the
greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism. --J.
S. Mill.

Syn: Usefulness; advantageous; benefit; profit; avail;
service.

Usage: 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.

Synonyms: public utility, public-service corporation, service program, usefulness, utility program

Antonyms: inutility, unusefulness, uselessness

See Also: bus company, bus service, computer program, computer programme, detergence, detergency, device driver, diagnostic program, driver, electric company, electrical plant, electrical system, facility, function, gas company, gas service, heat, heating, heating plant, heating system, helpfulness, input program, installation, instrumentality, light company, marginal utility, output program, phone company, phone service, plumbing, plumbing system, power company, power service, practicability, practicableness, practicality, program, programme, purpose, quality, role, service, service, service routine, serviceability, serviceableness, sort program, sorting program, system of measurement, telephone company, telephone service, trace program, usableness, use, utility routine, water company, waterworks

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