Meaning of “useful” in the English Dictionary

"useful" in British English

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uk /ˈjuːs.fəl/ us /ˈjuːs.fəl/

A2 effective; helping you to do or achieve something:

A good knife is probably one of the most useful things you can have in a kitchen.
Do the exercises serve any useful purpose?

More examples

  • It would be useful to have a secretary to deal with all the paperwork.
  • A laptop would be really useful for when I'm working on the train.
  • This booklet provides useful information about local services.
  • These small village shops serve a very useful purpose.
  • Many employers consider hands-on experience to be as useful as academic qualifications.

(Definition of “useful” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"useful" in American English

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us /ˈjus·fəl/

helping you to do or obtain something:

Your advice was very useful, saving me a lot of time.
adverb us /ˈjus·fə·li/

I was usefully occupied packing dishes all morning.
noun [ U ] us /ˈjus·fəl·nəs/

There is no question of the usefulness of aspirin.

(Definition of “useful” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)