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


noun val·ue \ˈval-(ˌ)yü\

Simple Definition of value

  • : the amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something

  • : something that can be bought for a low or fair price

  • : usefulness or importance

Full Definition of value

  1. 1 :  a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged

  2. 2 :  the monetary worth of something :  market price

  3. 3 :  relative worth, utility, or importance <a good value at the price> <the value of base stealing in baseball> <had nothing of value to say>

  4. 4 :  a numerical quantity that is assigned or is determined by calculation or measurement <let x take on positive values> <a value for the age of the earth>

  5. 5 :  the relative duration of a musical note

  6. 6 a :  relative lightness or darkness of a color :  luminosity b :  the relation of one part in a picture to another with respect to lightness and darkness

  7. 7 :  something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable <sought material values instead of human values — W. H. Jones>

  8. 8 :  denomination 2

val·ue·less play \-(ˌ)yü-ləs, -yə-\ adjective
val·ue·less·ness noun

Examples of value

  1. The company's stock continues to decline in value.

  2. Real estate prices have doubled in value over the last decade.

  3. The difference in value between the two currencies is not significant.

  4. You may exchange the item for something of equal value.

  5. We sold the home for less than its full value.

  6. an increase in the value of the dollar

  7. The home has a value of $1,000,000.

  8. Property values tend to rise as interest rates fall.

  9. The store advertises great values.

  10. No one can deny the value of a good education.

Origin of value

Middle English, worth, high quality, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *valuta, from feminine of *valutus, past participle of Latin valēre to be of worth, be strong — more at wield

First Known Use: 14th century



verb val·ue

Simple Definition of value

  • : to make a judgment about the amount of money that something is worth

  • : to think that (someone or something) is important or useful

Full Definition of value


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to estimate or assign the monetary worth of :  appraise <value a necklace> b :  to rate or scale in usefulness, importance, or general worth :  evaluate

  3. 2 :  to consider or rate highly :  prize, esteem <values your opinion>

val·u·er play \-yə-wər\ noun

Examples of value

  1. She values the time she spends with her family.

  2. The items are highly valued by collectors.

  3. The herbs are valued for their medicinal properties.

15th Century

First Known Use of value

15th century

Synonym Discussion of value

estimate, appraise, evaluate, value, rate, assess mean to judge something with respect to its worth or significance. estimate implies a judgment, considered or casual, that precedes or takes the place of actual measuring or counting or testing out <estimated the crowd at two hundred>. appraise commonly implies the fixing by an expert of the monetary worth of a thing, but it may be used of any critical judgment <having their house appraised>. evaluate suggests an attempt to determine relative or intrinsic worth in terms other than monetary <evaluate a student's work>. value equals appraise but without implying expertness of judgment <a watercolor valued by the donor at $500>. rate adds to estimate the notion of placing a thing according to a scale of values <a highly rated restaurant>. assess implies a critical appraisal for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, or as a guide in taking action <officials are trying to assess the damage>.

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>.

Seen and Heard

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


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds
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.