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

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 Having a good idea of the goal is indispensable to building the right foundation for relationships with labels, publishing and other industry necessities. Tenille Clarke, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 In this indispensable compendium, 29 leading experts, including many young Cuban scholars, delve deeply into this precipitous disintegration. Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 SpaceX has become an indispensable part of the commercial space industry under Musk, regularly transporting satellites into orbit for customers and ferrying astronauts to the Space Station. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 14 Feb. 2024 Turner, a strong proponent of the surveillance authority, appears to want to use the information about the adversary capability to persuade skeptical colleagues that 702 is an indispensable intelligence tool, one official said. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 His next challenge is to make his voice indispensable until November—and to set the stage for what follows. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2024 There’s one other indispensable thing too—something no evolutionary biologist or exobiologist has ever defined. TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 Now a new study in mice suggests a key part of the answer may be that an RNA molecule that’s indispensable for female survival steers the body toward immune friendly fire. Jonathan Wosen Reprints, STAT, 1 Feb. 2024 No matter what, Kamali believes human creativity will remain indispensable. Marc Bain, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indispensable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 Feb. 2024.

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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