utility


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Related to utility: marginal utility, Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility, Total Utility

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 classic literature ?
So that if there existed any one whom we assuredly knew to be capable of making discoveries of the highest kind, and of the greatest possible utility to the public; and if all other men were therefore eager by all means to assist him in successfully prosecuting his designs, I do not see that they could do aught else for him beyond contributing to defray the expenses of the experiments that might be necessary; and for the rest, prevent his being deprived of his leisure by the unseasonable interruptions of any one.
It may perhaps be thought superfluous to offer arguments to prove the utility of the UNION, a point, no doubt, deeply engraved on the hearts of the great body of the people in every State, and one, which it may be imagined, has no adversaries.
Some of these people, more provident and industrious than the rest, lay up a stock of dried salmon, and other fish, for winter: with these, they were ready to traffic with the travellers for any objects of utility in Indian life; giving a large quantity in exchange for an awl, a knife, or a fish-hook.
A man is born to serve his time on this earth, and there is something fine in the service being given on other grounds than that of utility.
The most conspicuous article in her attire was an ample checkered linen apron, which almost covered her skirt; and nothing could be plainer or less noticeable than her cap and gown, for there was no weakness of which she was less tolerant than feminine vanity, and the preference of ornament to utility.
To these flourishing resolutions, which briefly recounted the general utility of education, the political and geographical rights of the village of Templeton to a participation in the favors of the regents of the university, the salubrity of the air, and wholesomeness of the water, together with the cheapness of food and the superior state of morals in the neighbor hood, were uniformly annexed, in large Roman capitals, the names of Marmaduke Temple as chairman and Richard Jones as secretary.
His daughters, he felt, while they retained the name of Bertram, must be giving it new grace, and in quitting it, he trusted, would extend its respectable alliances; and the character of Edmund, his strong good sense and uprightness of mind, bid most fairly for utility, honour, and happiness to himself and all his connexions.
To proceed: ceteris paribus, be who pleases is of more importance to his fellow-men than he who instructs, since utility is happiness, and pleasure is the end already obtained which instruction is merely the means of obtaining.
Such were Elizabeth Elliot's sentiments and sensations; such the cares to alloy, the agitations to vary, the sameness and the elegance, the prosperity and the nothingness of her scene of life; such the feelings to give interest to a long, uneventful residence in one country circle, to fill the vacancies which there were no habits of utility abroad, no talents or accomplishments for home, to occupy.
Roman and Norman were both wise in their retention of places of approved strength or utility.
His unexpected accession to title and fortune had removed all his difficulties; and never had the general loved his daughter so well in all her hours of companionship, utility, and patient endurance as when he first hailed her "Your Ladyship
For which reason a mutual utility and friendship may subsist between the master and the slave, I mean when they are placed by nature in that relation to each other, for the contrary takes place amongst those who are reduced to slavery by the law, or by conquest.

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