Definition of useful in English:


Line breaks: use¦ful
Pronunciation: /ˈjuːsfʊl
, -f(ə)l/


1Able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways: aspirins are useful for headaches
More example sentences
  • It means the building is going to be cared for and used and will serve a useful purpose for the community.
  • At least it felt like I was doing a proper job and something with a useful purpose.
  • The flight served no useful purpose at all: there was no need or compulsion to join it.
1.1British informal Very able or competent in a particular area: a useful pace bowler
More example sentences
  • He is a healthy sceptic to much paranormal activity, and would be a useful expert to have.


make oneself useful

Do something that is of some value or benefit to someone: make yourself useful—get Jenny a drink
More example sentences
  • For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the ‘best’ sources.
  • I seize this opportunity to help Mark by making myself useful.
  • Nice to see the man making himself useful again.



More example sentences
  • He might usefully have added that this could be a long season.
  • Minimising waste is very good practice in industry and commerce, and many of its lessons could usefully be applied to households.
  • Much of that money was not used usefully and with almost no industrial base the country is groaning under its debt burden.

Definition of useful in: