Definition of useful in US English:

useful

adjective

  • Able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways.

    ‘aspirin is useful for headaches’
    • ‘They were also able to gather useful data from the tyre pressure monitoring system.’
    • ‘The answer may lie in some useful precedents going even as far back as the genesis of modern Israel.’
    • ‘The flight served no useful purpose at all: there was no need or compulsion to join it.’
    • ‘There may be features not covered here that you would find useful in your own work, so try to explore it.’
    • ‘If he has picked up one, it would have been the most useful thing he has done all year.’
    • ‘So many useful shops disappear, to be replaced by a retail outlet that is not welcomed by many of us.’
    • ‘I spoke to her after the forum to get her sense of how useful she thought the day had been.’
    • ‘At least it felt like I was doing a proper job and something with a useful purpose.’
    • ‘We think this is a useful service and we hope you like it too but it is only fair that we tell you how this is done.’
    • ‘See, that old webcam you've got stuffed away in a box really can be useful after all.’
    • ‘It does appear that she is capable of providing a useful service to her clients.’
    • ‘How useful is it to tell overweight people or gamblers that they have a disease?’
    • ‘It would have been useful to examine whether advice and money had changed practice.’
    • ‘The new powers given to magistrates to deduct fines from wages and benefits are a useful tool.’
    • ‘Here teenage boys and girls who dropped out after primary school learn useful skills.’
    • ‘He said it was a useful and constructive meeting following on from the previous meeting.’
    • ‘Many people use too much salt in their cooking, and it is useful for them to know why this is bad for your heart.’
    • ‘This time we were able to persuade her that this was not a useful tactic and to amend the behaviour.’
    • ‘As a book it has useful anecdotes, but is otherwise nothing to get excited about.’
    • ‘It means the building is going to be cared for and used and will serve a useful purpose for the community.’
    functional, practical, handy, neat, convenient, utilitarian, utility, helpful, applicable, serviceable, of use, of service
    beneficial, advantageous, helpful, worthwhile, profitable, gainful, rewarding, productive, constructive, effective, efficacious, valuable, fruitful, of help, of assistance
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • make oneself useful

    • Do something that is of some value or benefit to someone.

      ‘make yourself useful—get Jenny a drink’
      • ‘At least if they're present, you can continually chase them up in the hope that they might eventually make themselves useful and do the job they're paid for.’
      • ‘I decided to make myself useful and tried my hand at making a lemon drink.’
      • ‘Those who would rather not attempt the event itself can still make themselves useful as helpers.’
      • ‘And this year, I've decided, I'm going to make myself useful.’
      • ‘I seize this opportunity to help Mark by making myself useful.’
      • ‘I asked myself what I could do to make myself useful, indispensable even.’
      • ‘After a brief discussion we decided to head up towards the fence to assess the situation and see how we might make ourselves useful.’
      • ‘I'd go into law and make myself useful if I weren't so lazy.’
      • ‘Nice to see the man making himself useful again.’
      • ‘For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the ‘best’ sources.’

Pronunciation

useful

/ˈyo͞osfəl//ˈjusfəl/