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UTILITY

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does utility mean? 

UTILITY (noun)
  The noun UTILITY has 6 senses:

1. a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
2. the quality of being of practical use
3. the service (electric power or water or transportation) provided by a public utility
4. (economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice
5. (computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer
6. 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

  Familiarity information: UTILITY used as a noun is common.


UTILITY (adjective)
  The adjective UTILITY has 2 senses:

1. used of beef; usable but inferior
2. capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team

  Familiarity information: UTILITY used as an adjective is rare.


 Dictionary entry details 


UTILITY (noun)


Sense 1utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects

Synonyms:

utility; public-service corporation; public utility company; public utility

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

service (a company or agency that performs a public service; subject to government regulation)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "utility"):

phone company; phone service; telco; telephone company; telephone service (a public utility that provides telephone service)

electric company; light company; power company; power service (a public utility that provides electricity)

water company; waterworks (a public utility that provides water)

gas company; gas service (a public utility that provides gas)

bus company; bus service (a public utility providing local transportation)


Sense 2utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The quality of being of practical use

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects

Synonyms:

usefulness; utility

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

quality (an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone)

Attribute:

useful; utile (being of use or service)

useless (having no beneficial use or incapable of functioning usefully)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "utility"):

practicability; practicableness (the quality of being usable)

practicality (concerned with actual use rather than theoretical possibilities)

instrumentality (the quality of being instrumental for some purpose)

serviceability; serviceableness; usability; usableness; useableness (the quality of being able to provide good service)

use (a particular service)

helpfulness (the property of providing useful assistance)

function; purpose; role; use (what something is used for)

detergence; detergency (detergent quality; the quality of having cleansing power)

Antonym:

inutility (the quality of having no practical use)


Sense 3utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The service (electric power or water or transportation) provided by a public utility

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Context examples:

the cost of utilities never decreases / all the utilities were lost after the hurricane

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

service (work done by one person or group that benefits another)


Sense 4utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice

Classified under:

Nouns denoting quantities and units of measure

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

metric; system of measurement (a system of related measures that facilitates the quantification of some particular characteristic)

Domain category:

economic science; economics; political economy (the branch of social science that deals with the production and distribution and consumption of goods and services and their management)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "utility"):

marginal utility ((economics) the amount that utility increases with an increase of one unit of an economic good or service)


Sense 5utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

service program; utility program; utility

Context example:

a computer system provides utility programs to perform the tasks needed by most users

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

computer program; computer programme; program; programme ((computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute)

Meronyms (parts of "utility"):

service routine; utility routine (a routine that can be used as needed)

Domain category:

computer science; computing (the branch of engineering science that studies (with the aid of computers) computable processes and structures)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "utility"):

trace program (a utility program that exhibits the sequence and results of executing the instructions in another program)

sort program; sorting program (a utility program that sorts data items)

output program (a utility program that organizes the output of a computer)

input program (a utility program that organizes the input to a computer)

diagnostic program (a program that recognizes and explains faults in the equipment or mistakes in a computer program)

device driver; driver ((computer science) a program that determines how a computer will communicate with a peripheral device)


Sense 6utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

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

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Context example:

the price of the house included all utilities

Hypernyms ("utility" is a kind of...):

facility; installation (a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "utility"):

electrical plant; electrical system (utility that provides electricity)

heat; heating; heating plant; heating system (utility to warm a building)

plumbing; plumbing system (utility consisting of the pipes and fixtures for the distribution of water or gas in a building and for the disposal of sewage)


UTILITY (adjective)


Sense 1utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Used of beef; usable but inferior

Synonyms:

utility; utility-grade

Similar:

inferior (of low or inferior quality)


Sense 2utility [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team

Synonyms:

substitute; utility

Context example:

a utility infielder

Similar:

secondary (being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate)


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