Pronunciation: (yOO-til'i-tē), [key]
—n., pl. -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. public utility (def. 1).
4. Often, utilities. a useful or advantageous factor or feature: the relative utilities of a religious or a secular education.
5. Econ.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. Computers.See utility program.
8. utilities,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.