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

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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 It was built to compete with Japan, the key U.S. ally in the region, which is indispensable for South Korea’s own defense. WSJ, "Shed No Tear for South Korea’s Defense Cost," 29 Jan. 2020 Yet researchers widely believe the high energies are indispensable. Eric Hand, Science | AAAS, "‘We need a people’s cryo-EM.’ Scientists hope to bring revolutionary microscope to the masses," 23 Jan. 2020 But while Anthony has been a key addition for the Blazers, Whiteside has been indispensable. Jamie Goldberg | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers midseason awards: Damian Lillard continues to lead the way, Hassan Whiteside proves to be key acquisition," 15 Jan. 2020 So if premium flights to Asia are your goal, this program is indispensable. Eric Rosen, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 International Frequent Flier Programs You Need to Join," 1 Oct. 2019 The signatories of the open letter to the USHMM were entirely right to say that analogical reasoning is indispensable to the human sciences. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 Some professionals find the adaptability of the iPad to be indispensable for doing their work on a daily basis. Seamus Bellamy, USA TODAY, "The best Cyber Monday deals on iPad and iPad Pro," 3 Dec. 2019 Whiteside has been an indispensable defensive force and rim protector in Portland’s lineup this season. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside reflects on time with Miami Heat as he prepares to face former team: ‘I grew here and I learned a lot here’," 5 Jan. 2020 Tyler Perry, an indispensable family friend to the Houston-Brown family in times of crisis, visited Bobbi Kristina in her final days. Jennifer Brett, ajc, "Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unresponsive 5 years ago this month," 2 Jan. 2020

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 2

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Time Traveler for indispensable

Time Traveler

The first known use of indispensable was in 1653

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Statistics for indispensable

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indispensable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for indispensable


How to pronounce indispensable (audio)

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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