Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Utility

Quick Summary of Utility

The state or condition of being useful; usefulness.

What is the dictionary definition of Utility?

Dictionary Definition

  • Business: A Large company that owns and/or operates the facilities used for generation, transmission or distribution of gas, water, or electricity to the general public.
  • Economics: Pleasure or satisfaction (value for money) derived by a person from the consumption of a good or service or from being in a particular place, and for the maximisation of which all economic actions are motivated. It is the subjective or psychic return which cannot be measured in absolute or objective terms. Goods or services that have utility for one person may not have for another, and what may have utility for a person at a certain time or place may not have it at another. See also utility theory.
  • Ethics: As described by the English philosopher-reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), what appears to “augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question.”
  • Computing: Auxiliary program that performs a specific useful function to maintain, or augments the efficiency of, a computer system. Utilities range from the small and simple to the large and complex, and from being marginally useful to being indispensable. Functions performed by utilities include data compression, data recovery, disk defragmentation, management of computer resources and files, system diagnosis, virus detection, and numerous others.
  • Patent law: Usefulness of the item for which a patent is applied. An invention must be capable of use and must perform some useful function to be considered patentable.


  • The state or condition of being useful; usefulness.
  • Something that is useful.
  • economics The ability of a commodity to satisfy needs or wants; the satisfaction experienced by the consumer of that commodity.

Synonyms For Utility

usefulness, benefit, service, utilities, advantage

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Utility. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. January 26, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/utility/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Utility. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/utility/ (accessed: January 26, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Utility. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/utility/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Utility are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th January, 2020 | 3 Views.