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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
public utility
utility pole
utility room
▪ The kitchen was like a big utility room with a huge sink, a stone floor, and a large wooden table.
▪ The empirical investigations of Modigliani and Miller 2 were conducted on examples of oil and electric utility companies.
▪ The campaign for a deregulated electric utility industry, like a balloon, is filled with a lot of hot air.
▪ In 1895, the city built the first and only municipally-owned electric utility in Orange County.
▪ A high-technology firm, for example, faces a great deal more business risk than does an electric utility.
▪ Transportation, communications, and electric and other utilities are illustrations of industries which are regulated in varying degrees.
▪ Investments in electric utility stocks were down to 16. 2 percent in December from 21. 2 percent the year earlier.
▪ Currently, electric utilities only have limited access to power plants outside their service areas.
▪ The wage is set by the union executive to maximize the expected utility of the median voter.
▪ But, at least, the agent never makes an inferior choice, never choosing x when y has greater expected utility.
▪ All Bernice could see was a large utility belt with a screamer pistol in a holster and a row of charge packs.
▪ Three large utility companies -- AT&038;.
▪ At the same time, large corporations are now generating their own power and completely bypassing the formerly dominant local utility.
▪ Given diminishing marginal utility of income, more income in one period can not compensate for lower income in another period.
▪ Alfred Marshall called this marginal utility.
▪ Many of its workers and functions were of marginal utility and at the cost of a better price to cocoa farmers.
▪ He compares the price to the marginal utility.
▪ Figure 15-3 shows that at the equilibrium point E the marginal utility of the last film equals its marginal cost.
▪ Above Q *; the marginal utility of films is less than the marginal utility of meals sacrificed.
▪ It will deliver the promises made in the citizens charter to extend the powers of the four regulators of the privatised utilities.
▪ To regain majority control of other privatised utilities when funds allow.
▪ Legislation will be introduced to reinforce the regulation of privatised utilities.
▪ The reporting system covers only a proportion of the chemicals emitted and also exempts many types of plants, including public utilities.
▪ After its experience with the disease, the public utility company issued an AIDS-specific policy statement and set of guidelines.
▪ Then again, various public utility undertakings offer important positions to solicitors.
▪ They were manufacturing, the finance, insurance and real estate group, transportation and public utilities and government.
▪ The cost of diverting mains services and public utilities can be very expensive and in certain situations virtually impossible.
▪ Of course, Tucson Water is a public utility, and therefore is required to keep its records open to the public.
▪ Does it apply to a public utility which may or may not appear to be similar to a local government?
▪ They thought of them as public utilities.
▪ Does this enable the court to take into account the comparative social utility of the product and apply a cost-benefit analysis?
▪ Very few students talked about their subject in terms of its social utility.
▪ Life on the ship involves no rent checks or utility bills.
▪ I always mailed my rent check on time, along with my phone and utilities bills.
▪ That effort raises funds to help low-income households pay their utility bills.
▪ The program includes brochures, direct mail, television and radio ads, utility bill inserts and the live-operator call center.
▪ Reports prepared by utility companies, often for electricity or pipeline schemes, are mostly satisfactory, however.
▪ Bob Jones, a supervisor for a utility company, has had a Mac for 12 years.
▪ Maybe spending by government and utilities companies would be a worthwhile investment.
▪ After its experience with the disease, the public utility company issued an AIDS-specific policy statement and set of guidelines.
▪ These include not only central and local government but also major utility companies and transport suppliers.
▪ Three large utility companies -- AT&038;.
▪ The empirical investigations of Modigliani and Miller 2 were conducted on examples of oil and electric utility companies.
▪ The risk of California's electricity utilities going bankrupt has added to the market's jitters.
▪ In 1982 electricity utilities cancelled 18 nuclear power stations, some of them well advanced in construction.
▪ From the start, the operation of commercial nuclear power stations was the responsibility of the electricity utilities.
▪ The situation is simplified if the utility function is homothetic, and that assumption is made in what follows.
▪ Tastes for variety are assumed to be of the S-D-S form, and the upper tier utility function is Cobb-Douglas.
▪ Icons-pictorial images used on screen to indicate utility functions, files, folders or applications software.
▪ Let the upper tier utility function be Cobb-Douglas.
▪ Their utility functions may remain unchanged, but the income constraints which now confront them have altered.
▪ What happens when upper tier preferences can not be represented by a Cobb-Douglas utility function?
▪ Exercise 10-1 Suppose that everyone has a utility function, where T i denotes taxes paid.
▪ The campaign for a deregulated electric utility industry, like a balloon, is filled with a lot of hot air.
▪ They put the device on 200 pennants suspended from utility poles, and paint it directly on crosswalks in the downtown area.
▪ Crews will install wires on utility poles in some older neighborhoods.
▪ The system uses microphones that are mounted atop utility poles and buildings to record gunshots and immediately relay a signal to police.
▪ Limited cooking and food storage facilities are, however, available in the utility rooms on each floor.
▪ The kitchen was like a big utility room with a huge sink, a stone floor, and a large wooden table.
▪ A separate utility room nearby houses all the noisy domestic appliances.
▪ I went through to the utility room, cool and dark after the noise and chaos of the kitchen.
▪ Are the kitchen and utility room large enough to take your washing machine, dryer, freezer, refrigerator, etc?
▪ He glanced over, shading his eyes, and seemed to see me, looking through the window from the utility room.
▪ On the ground floor one bay would serve as an entrance and utility room, with a stair to the first floor.
▪ He almost ran down the hall, through the kitchen and into the little utility room that had once been a scullery.
▪ Toyota introduced its third generation 4-Runner mid-priced sport utility.
▪ Ford is offering a $ 2, 000 rebate on its Bronco sport utility vehicle.
▪ Customers also may have a harder time finding full-size pick-up trucks and certain sport utility vehicles.
▪ Type: Front-engine, four-wheel drive, nine-passenger, full-size sport utility.
▪ Type Front-engine, four-wheel-drive, five-passenger, luxury sport utility.
▪ Many aging enthusiasts began to abandon sports cars for sport utilities.
▪ It was a sport utility that was also a personal vehicle and it got good mileage.
▪ So they set out at the beginning of 1997 in four sport utility vehicles.
▪ Ford is offering a $ 2, 000 rebate on its Bronco sport utility vehicle.
▪ Sport utility vehicles have supplanted minivans in recent years as the top-selling family vehicle, according to trade experts.
▪ Customers also may have a harder time finding full-size pick-up trucks and certain sport utility vehicles.
▪ Mr Roberts also confirmed that Ford is launching a full-size sport-utility vehicle this fall called the Expedition.
▪ Buyers of the Ford Bronco utility vehicle will be entitled to a $ 2, 000 rebate.
▪ So they set out at the beginning of 1997 in four sport utility vehicles.
▪ They see even more dollar signs ahead: There are now about 30 models of sport utility vehicles.
▪ Plus the most significant restyling since the Cherokee debuted as a compact sport utility vehicle in 1984.
▪ The Clinton administration also favors giving loans to water utilities to upgrade their facilities.
▪ Donahue, 36, is a water utilities supervisor for the city.
▪ Or how many folks' rent includes utilities.
▪ Bureaucrats have been included among the utility maximizing groups within the political arena.
▪ This, presumably one could say, maximizes their utility.
▪ The wage is set by the union executive to maximize the expected utility of the median voter.
▪ Consumers maximize utility subject to possible quantity constraints.
▪ Particularly interesting are the organisations providing utility services: gas, electricity, water and transportation.
▪ The companies' will explore ways to provide one-stop shopping for utilities that want to automate many of their business functions.
▪ California's Public Utilities Commission issued a temporary restraining order requiring the two utilities to keep serving more than 2 million customers.
▪ E shareholders, or selling them to utility employees.
▪ You can use the DESQview utility, Manifest, to examine this area to see if it's usable.
▪ Demonstrations allow customers to get an immediate idea of a product's utility.
▪ I have severe doubts about the utility of examinations on subjects which have been learned parrot-fashion.
▪ However, other utilities may also bid for PowerGen.
▪ It was paced by auto, chemical and utility stocks.
▪ Monopolies in industries like railways and various utilities need breaking up.
▪ Pareto is in no doubt that the two types of utility, for and of a community, do not necessarily coincide.
▪ They were manufacturing, the finance, insurance and real estate group, transportation and public utilities and government.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Utility \U*til"i*ty\, n. [OE. utilite, F. utilit['e], L. utilitas, fr. utilis useful. See Utile.]

  1. The quality or state of being useful; usefulness; production of good; profitableness to some valuable end; as, the utility of manure upon land; the utility of the sciences; the utility of medicines.

    The utility of the enterprises was, however, so great and obvious that all opposition proved useless.

  2. (Polit. Econ.) Adaptation to satisfy the desires or wants; intrinsic value. See Note under Value, 2.

    Value in use is utility, and nothing else, and in political economy should be called by that name and no other.
    --F. A. Walker.

  3. Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism.
    --J. S. Mill.

    Syn: Usefulness; advantageous; benefit; profit; avail; service.

    Usage: Utility, Usefulness. Usefulness has an Anglo-Saxon prefix, utility is Latin; and hence the former is used chiefly of things in the concrete, while the latter is employed more in a general and abstract sense. Thus, we speak of the utility of an invention, and the usefulness of the thing invented; of the utility of an institution, and the usefulness of an individual. So beauty and utility (not usefulness) are brought into comparison. Still, the words are often used interchangeably.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "fact of being useful," from Old French utilite "usefulness" (13c., Modern French + utilité), earlier utilitet (12c.), from Latin utilitatem (nominative utilitas) "usefulness, serviceableness, profit," from utilis "usable," from uti (see use (v.)). Meaning "a useful thing" is from late 15c. As a shortened form of public utility it is recorded from 1930.


n. 1 The state or condition of being useful; usefulness. 2 Something that is useful. 3 (context economics English) The ability of a commodity to satisfy needs or wants; the satisfaction experienced by the consumer of that commodity. 4 (context business finance English) A service provider, such as an electric company or water company; ''or'', the security of such a provider. 5 (context computing English) A software program designed to perform a single task or a small range of tasks, often to help manage and tune computer hardware, an operating system or application software. 6 (context sports English) The ability to play multiple positions.

  1. adj. used of beef; usable but inferior [syn: utility(a), utility-grade]

  2. capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team; "a utility infielder" [syn: utility(a), substitute(a)]

  1. n. a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation [syn: public utility, public-service corporation]

  2. the quality of being of practical use [syn: usefulness] [ant: inutility, inutility]

  3. the service provided by a utility company; "the cost of utilities never decreases"

  4. (economics) a measure that is to be maximized in any situation involving choice

  5. (computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer; "a computer system provides utility programs to perform the tasks needed by most users" [syn: utility program, service program]

  6. a facility composed of one or more pieces of equipment connected to or part of a structure and designed to provide a service such as heat or electricity or water or sewage disposal; "the price of the house included all utilities"


In economics, utility is a measure of preferences over some set of goods and services. The concept is an important underpinning of rational choice theory in economics and game theory, because it represents satisfaction experienced by the consumer of a good. A good is something that satisfies human wants. Since one cannot directly measure benefit, satisfaction or happiness from a good or service, economists instead have devised ways of representing and measuring utility in terms of economic choices that can be measured. Economists have attempted to perfect highly abstract methods of comparing utilities by observing and calculating economic choices. In the simplest sense, economists consider utility to be revealed in people's willingness to pay different amounts for different goods.

Utility (C++)

is a header file in the C++ Standard Library. This file has two key components:

  • , a namespace containing set of templates which define default behavior for the relational operators , , , and between objects of the same type, based on user-defined operators and .
  • , a container template which holds two member objects ( and ) of arbitrary type(s). Additionally, the header defines default relational operators for s which have both types in common.
Utility (patent)

In United States patent law, utility is a patentability requirement. As provided by , an invention is "useful" if it provides some identifiable benefit and is capable of use. The majority of inventions are usually not challenged as lacking utility, but the doctrine prevents the patenting of fantastic or hypothetical devices such as perpetual motion machines.

The patent examiners guidelines require that a patent application expresses a specific, credible, and substantial utility. Rejection by an examiner usually requires documentary evidence establishing a prima facie showing that there is no specific, substantial, and credible utility.

European patent law does not consider utility as a patentability criterion. Instead, it requires that to be patentable an invention must have industrial applicability.

Utility (disambiguation)

Utility is a measure of the happiness or satisfaction gained from a good or service in economics and game theory.

Utility may also refer to:

  • Public utility, an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service, or the services themselves
  • Utility (patent), one of the requirements for patentability in Canadian and United States patent laws
  • Utility software or a utility program, a software program that functions for a particular purpose
  • Utility player, a baseball player who plays more than one position regularly, usually in a reserve capacity
  • Utility model, an intellectual property right to protect inventions
  • Utility frequency, frequency of the alternating current (AC) in an electric power grid.
  • Utility station, a radio transmitter that does not intentionally broadcast to the general public.
  • Utility Radio, a radio receiver manufactured in Great Britain during the 1939–45 World War
  • Utility room, a room in a house, which is the descendant of the scullery
  • Utility vehicle, a vehicle that is designed for a specific task
  • Utility (car), a term used in Australia and New Zealand to refer to a pickup truck or coupe utility vehicle ("ute")
  • Utilities (film), a 1981 movie starring Robert Hays
  • Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform, often abbreviated to "Utilities", the battledress uniform of the United States Marine Corps


  • Cardinal utility
  • Marginal utility
  • Indifference curve

Usage examples of "utility".

Court refused to decide any constitutional issues arising out of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 except the registration provisions because the cross bill in which the company had asked for a declaration that the whole act was unconstitutional was regarded as presenting a variety of hypothetical questions that might never become real.

Yet even such may find their utility, and indirectly serve masters, perhaps sweating in the public kitchens of the high cylinders, or laboring, neck-locked, at the looms in the cloth mills, or digging, chained with others, in the sul fields.

Finn watched Cyd crouch on the parking lot floor, examining systematically, disassembling and reassembling a couple of different weapons, picking out and trying on some of the light armor, fitting out a utility belt.

She was casually dressed, but the sidearm and small utility box on a belt around her waist marked her as a cymol cop.

Baby steps toward deregulation were forcing utilities to open their transmission lines to anyone, and Skilling wanted Enron to jump in with both feet.

With deregulation spreading-cutting direct ties between utilities and the users of power-every customer could soon be up for grabs.

A symphony of glass and concrete, the towers are the corporate epicenter for Portland General Electric, a utility that served Oregon and was pushing for the deregulation of electricity.

Sure, Kean said, Enron contributed to California politicians, but so did the utilities, which fought deregulation tooth and nail.

At the beginning of their acquaintance her interest in Markham had not been unlike that of the motherly hen in the doings of the newly hatched duckling with which she differed as to the practical utility of duckponds.

In all these cases the fred, which often amounted to half the compensation, went to the folkmote, and from times immemorial it used to be applied to works of common utility and defence.

Persimmon Sea flew the Suaniset utility vehicle, an ungainly Apex A-15, lacking all style or flair and Schaine suspected that Gerd Jemasze intended nothing less than a demonstration of contempt for the fads of Olanje.

One farmer, who had complained of a saucer that had hovered over his farm for several nights in succession, was left with an incredible jump in his light bill as a strange kind of proof that the UFO had been there and had been interfering with the utilities on his farm.

Of personal contributions to the literature of the subject, during the past third of a century, nearly everything has been more or less polemical, called forth by either exaggeration of utility, inaccuracy of assertion, or misstatement of fact.

Dalik Ophon was standing next to a woman clad in combat utilities, Shalla Inam, local time liaison for AD 2294.

I left in silence, went and bought a multiburner, a cc of Codeine-Curarine, a jolter, and a utilities map, still in silence.