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

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 For electrification, fuel cell batteries represent an indispensable technology. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Japan and Toyota Teaming Up to Make an SUV for the Moon, Maybe Mars," 12 Mar. 2019 High-Performance Appliances Today, high-efficiency burners and ovens with convection and self-cleaning are really indispensable. Christine Pittel, House Beautiful, "11 Things Every Kitchen Should Have," 8 Dec. 2011 Some might argue the center is the most indispensable player on the roster — the player who mans the only position guaranteed to touch the ball on every play. Mark Long, The Seattle Times, "AP Exclusive: NFL centers seeing shorter career longevity," 28 Jan. 2019 Over the past eight years, Instagram has become an indispensable, all-purpose tool for everything art related. Carol Kino, WSJ, "How Instagram Became the Art World’s Obsession," 24 July 2018 Our relationship with the world's most populous nation seems indispensable, if ever-fraught. Erick Trickey,, "When Hitler met Hoover: 9 instances of dictators scoring presidential face time," 10 June 2018 Conceived of in the 1940s when the New Englander was a coed at Simmons College, the calendar was indispensable to designers, editors, and buyers alike, and Finley had the stories to prove it. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Remembering the Fashion Figures We Lost in 2018," 3 Dec. 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

16 May 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

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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