in·​dis·​pens·​able ˌin-di-ˈspen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indispensable (audio)
: absolutely necessary : essential
an indispensable member of the staff
: not subject to being set aside or neglected
an indispensable obligation
indispensability noun
indispensable noun
indispensableness noun
indispensably adverb

Example Sentences

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 Having a team that is competent and committed could prove to be indispensable at times of crisis when your whole company needs to search together for creative solutions to exogenous challenges. Peter Abualzolof, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023 Executives across industries may not agree on everything, but one consensus is that even in an economic downturn, cybersecurity is indispensable. Bylucy Brewster, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2023 For someone with limited mobility, their Reyhee scooter or wheelchair may very well prove just as indispensable for literal accessibility as their iPhone’s discrete accessibility software. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2023 The Malificient star has deepened her partnership with Guerlain and is using her platform and celebrity status to educate the youth on the indispensable role bees play in our ecosystem. ELLE, 17 Feb. 2023 But times change, previously indispensable tech tools get shoved to the back of a desk drawer and shiny touch-screen communication devices now make their hardware-heavy predecessors seem as primitive as wheezing dial-up modems. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Feb. 2023 His pitch calls and glove placement help determine his teammates’ defensive alignment, and his knowledge of opposing hitters is an indispensable boon to his battery mate in pitch selection and location. Bruce Weber, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 Your Place or Mine gets its limited but unmistakable oomph from the problem that Debbie and Peter are, in their current arrangement, really good for each other — as supportive and loving and indispensable friends, if not lovers. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 10 Feb. 2023 Tokyo Electron is one of a handful of indispensable suppliers to the chipmaking industry, providing machinery to fabricate the latest generation of chips. Takashi Mochizuki,, 9 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of indispensable was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near indispensable

Cite this Entry

“Indispensable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​dis·​pens·​able ˌin-dis-ˈpen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indispensable (audio)
: absolutely necessary : essential
an indispensable employee
indispensability noun

Legal Definition


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

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