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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Useless \Use"less\, a. Having, or being of, no use; unserviceable; producing no good end; answering no valuable purpose; not advancing the end proposed; unprofitable; ineffectual; as, a useless garment; useless pity. [1913 Webster] Not to sit idle with so great a gift Useless, and thence ridiculous. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Syn: Fruitless; ineffectual. Usage: Useless, Fruitless, Ineffectual. We speak of an attempt, effort, etc., as being useless when there are in it inherent difficulties which forbid the hope of success, as fruitless when it fails, not from any such difficulties, but from some unexpected hindrance arising to frustrate it; as, the design was rendered fruitless by the death of its projector. Ineffectual nearly resembles fruitless, but implies a failure of a less hopeless character; as, after several ineffectual efforts, I at last succeeded. [1913 Webster] Useless are all words Till you have writ "performance" with your swords. The other is for waiving. --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] Waiving all searches into antiquity, in relation to this controversy, as being either needless or fruitless. --Waterland. [1913 Webster] Even our blessed Savior's preaching, who spake as never man spake, was ineffectual to many. --Bp. Stillingfleet. [1913 Webster] -- Use"less*ly, adv. -- Use"less*ness, n. [1913 Webster]