Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

useful - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     useful pronunciation in American English
  1. helpful for doing or achieving something

    Here’s some useful information about travel in Canada.

    Her book is a useful contribution to our understanding of how Mozart worked.

    useful to:

    I was useful to them because I could speak French.

    useful for:

    That basket would be useful for picnics.

    useful for doing something:

    Old pictures are useful for seeing how people used to dress.

    useful (for someone) to do something:

    Thanks. It’s useful to know that.

    Would it be useful for you to ask us some questions?

quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play