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.
In economics, utility is a measure of preferences over some set of goods (including services: something that satisfies human wants); it represents satisfaction experienced by the consumer of a good. The concept is an important underpinning of rational choice theory in economics and game theory: since one cannot directly measure benefit, satisfaction or happiness from a good or service, economists instead have devised ways of representing and measuring utility in terms of measurable economic choices. Economists have attempted to perfect highly abstract methods of comparing utilities by observing and calculating economic choices; in the simplest sense, economists consider utility to be revealed in people's willingness to pay different amounts for different goods.