Definition of utilize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈyo͞odlˌīz/


[with object]
Make practical and effective use of: vitamin C helps your body utilize the iron present in your diet
More example sentences
  • How can mass media be effectively utilized to propagate and promote a culture of peace?
  • Greenpeace argues that alternative energy sources such as wind power should be utilised more effectively.
  • Until that vision becomes a reality the club must squeeze out as much as they can from utilising the present facilities.
use, make use of, put to use, employ, avail oneself of, bring/press into service, bring into play, deploy, draw on, exploit, harness


Utilize, borrowed in the 19th century from the French utiliser, means ‘make practical or effective use of.’ Because it is a more formal word than use and is often used in contexts (as in business writing) where the ordinary verb use would be simpler and more direct, utilize may strike readers as pretentious jargon and should therefore be used sparingly.



Pronunciation: /ˌyo͞od(ə)lˈīzəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The BBC's unequalled wealth of audio resources present directly and easily utilisable products for mobile operators.
  • Minister Smith said the area of land under organic production in Ireland is about 30,000 hectares, just under 1% of the total utilisable agricultural area.
  • With exercise, stores of carbohydrates in muscles and the liver are used rapidly, and carbohydrates are necessary to maintain level of these body stores of readily utilizable fuel.


Example sentences
  • Mental health treatment could potentially benefit patients (by reducing their need for medical services) and managed care companies by reducing the costs of care for those who are high utilizers.
  • Researchers have found that high utilizers who receive mental health services subsequently average fewer medical visits than do comparison groups that receive no mental health treatment.
  • Those who had individual therapy began as the most frequent utilizers of health care in time one and remained the highest.


Early 19th century: from French utiliser, from Italian utilizzare, from utile (see utile1).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: u·ti·lize

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.