Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun trea·sure \ˈtre-zhər, ˈtrā-\

Simple Definition of treasure

  • : something valuable (such as money, jewels, gold, or silver) that is hidden or kept in a safe place

  • : something that is very special, important, or valuable

  • : a person who is greatly loved or valued especially because of being very helpful

Full Definition of treasure

  1. 1a (1) :  wealth (as money, jewels, or precious metals) stored up or hoarded <buried treasure> (2) :  wealth of any kind or in any form :  richesb :  a store of money in reserve

  2. 2 :  something of great worth or value; also :  a person esteemed as rare or precious

  3. 3 :  a collection of precious things

Examples of treasure

  1. a legend about the pirates' buried treasure

  2. Central Park is one of New York City's many treasures.

  3. Grandmother's nurse has been a real treasure.

Origin of treasure

Middle English tresor, from Anglo-French, from Latin thesaurus — more at thesaurus

First Known Use: 12th century

Rhymes with treasure



transitive verb trea·sure

Simple Definition of treasure

  • : to value (something) very much

Full Definition of treasure

trea·suredtrea·sur·ing play \-zh(ə-)riŋ\

  1. 1 :  to collect and store up (something of value) for future use :  hoard

  2. 2 :  to hold or keep as precious :  cherish, prize <she treasured those memories>

Examples of treasure

  1. He treasures that autographed baseball.

  2. My grandmother's ring is my most treasured possession.

14th Century

First Known Use of treasure

14th century

Synonym Discussion of treasure

appreciate, value, prize, treasure, cherish mean to hold in high estimation. appreciate often connotes sufficient understanding to enjoy or admire a thing's excellence <appreciates fine wine>. value implies rating a thing highly for its intrinsic worth <values our friendship>. prize implies taking a deep pride in something one possesses <Americans prize their freedom>. treasure emphasizes jealously safeguarding something considered precious <a treasured memento>. cherish implies a special love and care for something <cherishes her children above all>.

Rhymes with treasure

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up treasure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet kittly-benders pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.