in·​dis·​pens·​able | \ ˌin-di-ˈspen(t)-sə-bəl \

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 \ noun
indispensable noun
indispensableness \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs \ noun
indispensably \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​blē \ 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

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 Spider-Man would go on to become arguably the most indispensable and recognizable character in the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange a member of its permanent pantheon. Karen Matthews,, "Steve Ditko, 90, Spider-Man cocreator," 7 July 2018 Spider-Man would go on to become arguably the most indispensable and recognizable character in the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange a member of its permanent pantheon. Karen Matthews And Eric Dalton,, "Steve Ditko, Spider-Man co-creator, dies at age 90," 7 July 2018 Our relationship with the world’s most populous nation seems indispensable, if ever-fraught. Erick Trickey, Washington Post, "When Hitler met Hoover: 9 photos of dictators scoring presidential face time," 10 June 2018 In a sparsely populated nation covered with snow, a pair of skis has been indispensable, and countless children start to learn skiing as toddlers. David Segal, The Seattle Times, "As medals pile up, Norway worries: Are we winning too much?," 24 Feb. 2018 The Court has become indispensable to forging the essential compromises that Congress won’t. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 How does a player suddenly become indispensable after years of bouncing around the league? Rob Mahoney,, "Breakaway: Wayne Ellington's Journey From Indistinguishable to Indispensable," 5 Apr. 2018 Local papers are indispensable in uncovering corruption in government. Steve Forbes, WSJ, "Trump’s Newsprint Tariff Is a Tax on America’s Free Press," 28 June 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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Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of indispensable

: extremely important or necessary : essential indispensable workers


in·​dis·​pen·​sa·​ble | \ ˌin-di-ˈspen-sə-bəl \

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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