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 Advertisement The messaging app became indispensable as the temblor downed phone lines. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2023 The former problem grew worse when the Ravens lost their most indispensable defender, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, to a foot injury that required surgery. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 4 Sep. 2023 Organizations indispensable to the creation of media are cutting staff and services, and in some cases, even risk closing. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Aug. 2023 Valuable but 'not indispensable' Legal experts said cooperation from the six is not necessary for the Justice Department to get a Trump conviction. Josh Meyer, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2023 Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the release is indispensable and could not be postponed. Mari Yamaguchi, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2023 Hawk's skateboarding prowess appeared to prove indispensable to the film's production. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2023 Indian officials have been advocating in favor of a multipolar world order in which New Delhi is seen as indispensable to global solutions. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 23 Aug. 2023 The best path forward requires leaning into decentralization to create a world where no one person or clique is indispensable, where an economy of diverse actors can work together to preserve stability and fairness for all. Sheila Warren, Fortune Crypto, 12 Aug. 2023 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 24 Sep. 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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