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

Definition of indispensable

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indispensable

indispensability \ ˌin-​di-​ˌspen(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \ noun
indispensable noun
indispensableness \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \ noun
indispensably \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce indispensable (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 Mark Melancon, the Atlanta Braves’ 2019 and 2020 closer, was indispensable until he was deemed unaffordable. Ray Glier, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Scripps helped develop better ways to find and track enemy submarines, and to improve surf forecasting, which proved to be indispensable when Allied forces landed at Normandy during D-Day. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2021 In environments like this, modest, prudent, long-term strategy is indispensable. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 Take Buren Foster, who joined the bureau in 1988 and carries something else that's indispensable: a camera. Allison Futterman,, 28 July 2021 Reason: Water is indispensable for photosynthesis and is vital to the transport of nutrients to the plant. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Sep. 2021 FridaBaby has made waves for making cute, cheeky baby and postpartum recovery kits that are indispensable for new parents. Wired, 22 June 2021 Zubia’s bat, glove and voice have been indispensable for Texas, particularly this season. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 10 June 2021 Blogging is, in my mind, indispensable for a modern business. James Parsons, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of indispensable

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About indispensable

Time Traveler for indispensable

Time Traveler

The first known use of indispensable was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near indispensable

in disguise



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for indispensable

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indispensable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on indispensable

Nglish: Translation of indispensable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of indispensable for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!