in·​dis·​pens·​able | \ ˌin-di-ˈspen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \

Definition of indispensable

1 : not subject to being set aside or neglected an indispensable obligation
2 : absolutely necessary : essential an indispensable member of the staff

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Other Words from indispensable

indispensability \ ˌin-​di-​ˌspen(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce indispensability (audio) \ noun
indispensable noun
indispensableness \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce indispensableness (audio) \ noun
indispensably \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce indispensably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of indispensable in a Sentence

fully aware that he was an indispensable assistant, he decided that it was high time that he be paid what he was worth

Recent Examples on the Web

Basic elements — such as the right to see the evidence against you, the right to cross-examination, and the right to legal counsel — are indispensable to finding the facts when claims are disputed. David French, National Review, "How the Obama Administration Harmed Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault," 8 July 2019 Understanding which pieces of the biological puzzle are interchangeable and which are not is indispensable for the construction of knowledge paradigms. Ryan Dalton, Scientific American, "Decoding the Language of Neurons," 2 July 2019 Jack Charlton - The lesser-sung brother of Bobby, and lesser-sung defensive partner of the other Bobby, Charlton was indispensable for England, and is the only player on this list to have lead a country of his own out at a World Cup as manager., "Sir Alf Ramsey: The World Cup Winner's All-Time Best XI," 17 June 2019 Beyond direct revenue, Libra and Calibra are also ways for Facebook to continue to make its platforms indispensable to users. Clare Duffy, CNN, "3 key things to know about Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project," 18 June 2019 One day, somebody will find a use for it — a killer app that will make 5G phones indispensable. Hiawatha Bray,, "5G is coming, but there’s really no need to rush in," 17 June 2019 This makes every forager’s life—and their labor—indispensable. Jake Buehler, Science | AAAS, "Watch an ant rip apart a spiderweb to rescue a sibling," 7 June 2019 That’s quite a bit of money, even if a bathroom is indispensable. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Paint a Bathtub," 26 Apr. 2019 The pink-sheeted schedule was an indispensable part of New York fashion week for seven decades, right up until the age of Instagram. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Ruth Finley, Keeper of New York Fashion Week’s Pink-Sheeted Calendar, Has Died," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indispensable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of indispensable

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for indispensable

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indispensable

The first known use of indispensable was in 1653

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More Definitions for indispensable



English Language Learners Definition of indispensable

: extremely important and necessary


in·​dis·​pens·​able | \ ˌin-di-ˈspen-sə-bəl How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \

Kids Definition of indispensable

: extremely important or necessary : essential indispensable workers


in·​dis·​pen·​sa·​ble | \ ˌin-di-ˈspen-sə-bəl How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \

Legal Definition of indispensable

: having rights so connected to the claims of the parties to an action that the action cannot be adjudicated without affecting those rights — see also indispensable party at party

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Comments on indispensable

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