1. The quality or condition of being useful; usefulness: I have always doubted the utility of these conferences on disarmament(Winston S. Churchill).
2. A useful article or device.
a. A public utility.
b. A commodity or service, such as electricity, water, or public transportation, that is provided by a public utility.
4. Computer Science A utility program.
1. Used, serving, or working in several capacities as needed, especially:
a. Prepared to play any of the smaller theatrical roles on short notice: a utility cast member.
b. Capable of playing as a substitute in any of several positions: a utility infielder.
2. Designed for various often heavy-duty practical uses: a utility knife; a utility vehicle.
3. Raised or kept for the production of a farm product rather than for show or as pets: utility livestock.
4. Of the lowest U.S. Government grade: utility beef.
[Middle English utilite, from Old French, from Latin tilits, from tilis, useful, from t, to use.]
utility /yutlti/ n.-ties1 any basic necessity or service, such as running water, electricity, or gas: Our utilities are shut off for repair, so we cant bathe.2 a business or facility that supplies water, electricity, etc.: The local electric company is a utility.3 [U] usefulness: a procedure (building, machine, etc.) that is of little utility