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 indispensable (audio) \ noun
indispensable noun
indispensableness \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce indispensable (audio) \ noun
indispensably \ ˌin-​di-​ˈspen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce indispensable (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 The emergence of Covid-19 underscored that doctors are indispensable because of their humanity. Hilary Gentile, STAT, 19 May 2021 Telephone companies can be regulated as common carriers not because telephony is indispensable but because no one reasonably expects the telephone network to filter out objectionable content. WSJ, 11 May 2021 Three-quarters of American homeowners said their outdoor space was indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research. People Staff,, 30 Apr. 2021 Leaders typically look at candidates’ experience and industry knowledge, which are indispensable. Constance Dierickx, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 If financial markets are to play a leadership role in the transition to a low carbon economy, then data and analytical tools that can be trusted are indispensable. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 17 Apr. 2021 Advanced data analytics proved to be indispensable as retailers worked to create seamless customer experiences and protect the safety and well-being of employees. Guy Yehiav, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2021 Especially during the holidays, as home cooks log overtime in the scullery, this indispensable tool is never far from hand. Marni Jameson,, 18 Dec. 2020 The capture and analysis of surveillance footage has been an indispensable tool for U.S. counterterrorism and law enforcement in the past decade. Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American, 27 Sep. 2011

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

26 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indispensable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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