Definition of useful adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈjuːsfl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈjuːsfl//
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  1. 1  that can help you to do or achieve what you want a useful gadget useful (to do something) It can be useful to write a short summary of your argument first. useful (to somebody) He might be useful to us. useful (for something/for doing something) These plants are particularly useful for brightening up shady areas. Don't just sit watching television—make yourself useful! This information could prove useful. Your knowledge of German may come in useful (= be useful in a particular situation). Some products can be recycled at the end of their useful life.
  2. 2(British English, informal) good; of the right standard synonym competent He's a very useful player.
  3. Extra examples Internet booking is useful for people who want a short break. It needs to give more information to be truly useful. It was useful as a short-term measure. She has made an exceptionally useful contribution to the debate. She told Fred to make himself useful. She was very useful in dealing with foreign visitors. The same information is equally useful when negotiating. The subject is practically useful and will stand you in good stead when looking for a job. This method has proved the most generally useful. This tool is useful for a variety of purposes. an undoubtedly useful skill information which will be useful to new mothers some leaflets which you might find useful to provide rewarding and socially useful employment useful for people who need a short break Don’t just sit watching TV— make yourself useful! Regular tests are useful for monitoring progress. This information could prove useful. Your knowledge of German may come in useful. a useful book/​gadget
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: useful