Definition of utilitarian in English:

utilitarian

Syllabification: u·til·i·tar·i·an
Pronunciation: /yo͞oˌtiliˈte(ə)rēən
 
/

adjective

  • 1Designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive.
    More example sentences
    • Department stores do stock lots of bras in ‘plus’ sizes, but they tend to be ugly, utilitarian and practical bras designed for an older clientele.
    • They looked merely utilitarian and sensibly designed.
    • The scrapers seem to have functioned primarily as utilitarian items rather than prestige items.
    Synonyms
    practical, functional, pragmatic, serviceable, useful, sensible, efficient, utility, workaday, no-frills; plain, unadorned, undecorative
  • 2 Philosophy Of, relating to, or adhering to the doctrine of utilitarianism: a utilitarian theorist
    More example sentences
    • He made a lasting contribution to moral and political philosophy by attacking the prevailing materialism and empiricism of utilitarian thinkers.
    • In England, the utilitarian doctrine of a higher public good trumped the idea of intellectual property rooted in natural right.
    • Modern philosophers tend to take a more utilitarian position.

noun

Philosophy Back to top  
  • An adherent of utilitarianism.
    More example sentences
    • Assigning particular rights to people may be a way to promote wellbeing, and when it is, utilitarians favour doing it.
    • It is no accident then, that the utilitarians were often called philosophical radicals.
    • The utilitarians, who were also known as Philosophical Radicals, believed in a rather simple social formula: reduce pain and increase pleasure.

More definitions of utilitarian

Definition of utilitarian in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
noun
a small amount; a little