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 And like Tester, Bullock has recognized that the Native vote is indispensable, making numerous trips to the reservations in the state to try and turn out the vote. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Native Vote Is Crucial This Election—and Under Threat," 22 Oct. 2020 As President Trump wanted to, and rather than being a go-to country, what Madeleine Albright used to call the 'indispensable nation,' America has just become another superpower. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "2020 election: What is America's global role? (audio)," 14 Oct. 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored that the internet is an indispensable tool for keeping us connected, informed, working, innovating and learning. WSJ, "Remote Classes Need Good Internet Service," 22 Sep. 2020 Actually, even before this, old Russian émigrés were sending—even without me asking—all the books that were indispensable. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, WSJ, "Solzhenitsyn’s Journey From Oppression to Independence," 1 Oct. 2020 Palantir's strategy involves becoming indispensable to the U.S. government. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "5 things to know about Palantir as controversial "big data" company goes public," 30 Sep. 2020 Williams, the Clark, and proximity to New York were indispensable. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Mass MoCA, the World’s Biggest Contemporary Art Museum, Looks Fantastic," 23 Sep. 2020 Li Xian, who works at a publishing company in Shanghai, says the Chinese mobile-payments app Alipay is indispensable. Will Knight, Wired, "As Trump Squeezes China, Alipay’s Star Rises," 20 Sep. 2020 The message can be so powerful that some say Rush and his church felt indispensable to their lives and safety. Dallas News, "‘Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy’: A teacher-turned-evangelist built a Dallas megachurch as a warrior battling Satan. It was the perfect mask to abuse members, they say," 20 Sep. 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

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indispensable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 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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