Definition of utility noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//juːˈtɪləti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//juːˈtɪləti//
    (pl. utilities) Computer software, Economy
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  1. 1[countable] a service provided for the public, for example an electricity, water or gas supply the administration of public utilities Rescue teams worked desperately to restore utilities in the area shattered by the hurricane. CollocationsMoving house Renting live in a rented/(especially North American English) rental property rent/​share/​move into a furnished house/(British English) flat/(especially North American English) apartment rent a studio/(British English) a studio flat/(especially North American English) a studio apartment/(British English) a bedsit find/​get a housemate/(British English) a flatmate/(North American English) a roommate sign/​break the lease/​rental agreement/​contract extend/​renew/​terminate the lease/(British English) tenancy afford/​pay the rent/​the bills/(North American English) the utilities (especially British English) fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the rent pay/​lose/​return a damage deposit/(North American English) security deposit give/​receive a month’s/​two-weeks’ notice to leave/​vacate the propertyBeing a landlord have a flat/​apartment/​room (British English) to let/(especially North American English) for rent rent (out)/lease (out)/ (British English) let (out)/sublet a flat/​apartment/​house/​property collect/​increase/​raise the rent evict the existing tenants attract/​find new/​prospective tenants invest in rental property/(British English) property to let/(British English) the buy-to-let marketBuying buy/​acquire/​purchase a house/(a) property/(especially North American English) (a piece of) prime real estate call/​contact/​use (British English) an estate agent/(North American English) a Realtor™/(North American English) a real estate agent/​broker make/ (British English) put in an offer on a house put down/​save for (British English) a deposit on a house make/​put/​save for (especially North American English) a down payment on a house/​home apply for/​arrange/​take out a mortgage/​home loan (struggle to) pay the mortgage make/​meet/​keep up/​cover the monthly mortgage payments/(British English also) repayments (British English) repossess/ (especially North American English) foreclose on somebody’s home/​houseSelling put your house/​property on the market/​up for sale/​up for auction increase/​lower your price/​the asking price have/​hold/​hand over the deed/(especially British English) deeds of/​to the house, land, etc. See related entries: Economy
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) the quality of being useful synonym usefulness This information is of the highest utility to a historian.
  3. 3 [countable] (computing) a piece of computer software that performs a particular task See related entries: Computer software
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French utilite, from Latin utilitas, from utilis ‘useful’.Extra examples He argued that the arts have great social utility. This computer is of low utility for the home user. a privatized electricity utility regulatory agencies such as public utility commissions Legislation will be introduced to regulate the privatized utilities. Public utilities such as water, gas and electricity come under the control of the government.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: utility