1) a public or private entity that provides products or services. including communications. electricity. natural gas. transportation. and water. 2) the facilities associated with any particular utility. 3) an economic concept considered in the appraisal of monetary value; the ability to satisfy human desires. needs. and wants; the quality of usefulness.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
utility (noun)
fitness for some purpose or worth to some end
something useful or designed for use
a) - public utility
b) (1) a service (as light, power, or water) provided by a public utility
(2) equipment or a piece of equipment to provide such service or a comparable service
a program or routine designed to perform or facilitate especially routine operations (as copying files or editing text) on a computer
utility (adjective)
capable of serving as a substitute in various roles or positions - a utility infielder
a) kept to provide a useful product or service rather than for show or as a pet - utility livestock a utility dog
b) being of a usable but inferior grade - utility beef
serving primarily for utility rather than beauty - utilitarian
designed or adapted for general use - a utility tool
of or relating to a utility - a utility company
utility (Wikipedia)

Within economics the concept of utility is used to model worth or value, but its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or satisfaction within the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. But the term has been adapted and reapplied within neoclassical economics, which dominates modern economic theory, as a utility function that represents a consumer's preference ordering over a choice set. As such, it is devoid of its original interpretation as a measurement of the pleasure or satisfaction obtained by the consumer from that choice.

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