utility

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utility,

in economics: see valuevalue,
in economics, worth of a commodity in terms of other commodities, or in terms of money (see price). Value depends on both desirability and scarcity. The marginal theory of value, pioneered in the late 19th cent.
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utility

(ECONOMICS) the satisfaction or pleasure that a person derives from the consumption of a good or service. In the work of CLASSICAL ECONOMISTS, it was assumed that utility might be measured on an absolute scale. In modern economics, the assumption is merely that individuals are at least able to rank the satisfactions they receive or expect to receive. It is on this basis that conceptions and forms of analysis central in modern economics, e.g. indifference curves, conceptions of marginal utility, are formulated (see NEOCLASSICAL ECONOMICS).

utility

[yü′til·əd·ē]
(engineering)
One of the nonprocess (support) facilities for a manufacturing plant; usually considered as facilities for steam, cooling water, deionized water, electric power, refrigeration, compressed and instrument air, and effluent treatment.

public utility

A public service such as water, gas, electricity, telephone, sewers, etc.

utility

1. 
a. a public service, such as the bus system; public utility
b. (as modifier): utility vehicle
2. Economics
a. the ability of a commodity to satisfy human wants
b. the amount of such satisfaction
3. Austral and NZ a small truck with an open body and low sides, often with a removable tarpaulin cover; pick-up
4. a piece of computer software designed for a routine task, such as examining or copying files

utility

(1) See utility program.

(2) Usefulness; fitness for a particular use. Utility is one of the six fundamental components of information security (see Parkerian Hexad). For example, if data are encrypted and the decryption key is unavailable, the breach of security is in the lack of utility of the data (they are still confidential, possessed, integral, authentic and available).
References in periodicals archive ?
Prior to restructuring, California's public and investor-owned utilities generated most of the power that they sold.
The amount and quality of the disclosures utilities provided varied widely.
Within the electric-power industry, there is a split between utilities that want open competition right away, and those that know they couldn't compete on the open market.
Large public power projects meant cheaper electricity: the TVA's rate was half that of private utilities in the region.
Some utilities have been giving away allowances to charity; Northeast Utilities of Connecticut, for instance, donated 10,000 to the American Lung Association in 1993.
Utilities should consider impact studies and expert testimony on Statement no.
AT&T) broke up Ma Bell into one high-tech communications concern and seven regional Baby Bells--giving investors more telephone utilities to choose from.
Key stakeholders include utilities, technology and service providers, federal and state officials, electricity consumer groups and media.
Most utilities in a region are ultimately joined to one another through this superhighway, as are their customers.
Conversant supplies a range of innovative software and services to manage customer care and billing functions for utilities and energy service providers worldwide, all aimed at improving efficiencies and lowering costs.
By installing Itron's automated solid-state metering technology, Sacramento Municipal Utility District joins a growing number of utilities that are putting into place a system that will enable operational efficiencies," said Malcolm Unsworth, senior vice president of Itron's hardware solutions.