in·valu·able | \ (ˌ)in-ˈval-yə-bəl , -yə-wə-bəl , -yü(-ə)-bəl \

Definition of invaluable 

: valuable beyond estimation : priceless providing invaluable assistance

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Other words from invaluable

invaluableness noun
invaluably \(ˌ)in-ˈval-yə-blē, -yə-wə-blē, -yü(-ə)-blē \ adverb

Synonyms for invaluable


inestimable, priceless

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invaluable = valuable?

Many people find it confusing that the in- prefix at the beginning of invaluable apparently lacks the meaning "not" found in a number of other words, such as invalid, inarticulate, and insane. In fact, the prefix does indicate negation, but in a way that is not immediately obvious. The original (and current) meaning of invaluable is "valuable beyond estimation"; the word describes something so precious that one cannot assign a price to it. This, clearly, is the opposite of the meaning "having no value; valueless" that the word might seem to carry. Invaluable actually has been recorded in the sense "without value," but such use has been exceedingly rare and is practically nonexistent today.

Examples of invaluable in a Sentence

Unfortunately, though, Sally does not respond to lithium, which has been invaluable for many patients with manic-depressive illness … —Oliver Sacks, New York Review of Books, 25 Sept. 2008 … the scrolls provide an invaluable snapshot of at least one important strain in early Judaism—though they are by no means a complete record of Jewish belief at that time. —Jeremy Lott, Lingua Franca, February 2001 I stayed there only a month or so but it was an invaluable experience …  : that month's residence provided the inspiration for a novel I wrote much later, Sophie's Choice. —William Styron, This Quiet Dust and Other Writings, (1953) 1982 Their help has been invaluable to us. the list of likely donors proved to be invaluable to our fund-raising efforts
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Recent Examples on the Web

What most people don't know is tech insiders think there's an invaluable, tiny component inside Apple’s newest iPhone that Apple doesn't manufacture in-house! Rex Moore, USA TODAY, "This year's iPhone tsunami may set one stock soaring," 11 June 2018 Additionally, depending on how much money is brought in, the team might share some data and information, which can be invaluable for a program trying to solve the riddle of the oval in less than a month. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "So you want to enter the Indy 500?," 24 May 2018 The resulting ecosystem has been equally invaluable for both member companies and investors. Cherie Hu, Billboard, "Meet the 2018 Techstars Music Startups Transforming the Music Industry for Good: Exclusive," 3 May 2018 This is invaluable for applications that don't offer this kind of control themselves. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "A look at what the Windows 10 April 2018 update brings," 30 Apr. 2018 Olivier Giroud shanked a couple chances, hasn’t put a shot on target at this World Cup, gets crushed by fans and the press and still remains invaluable to Deschamps’ system. Brian Straus,, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 Giving stuff to [creator] Peter [Morgan] that would then be invaluable to us. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Plus, the story behind the most touching scene in the new Netflix series.," 31 Oct. 2016 The secondary was relatively young last season and developed invaluable experience during the Knights' march to a 13-0 record and Peach Bowl win over Auburn. Iliana Limón Romero,, "UCF football favored to repeat as American Athletic Conference champions," 9 July 2018 Joe Gomez is growing increasingly confident of moving into his preferred position at centre back for Liverpool in the future after crediting the invaluable experience at right back as the key to any potential long term success., "Liverpool Star Admits Plans to Alter Playing Position for the Upcoming Season," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invaluable.' 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 invaluable

1576, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for invaluable

in- entry 1 + value, verb + -able

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Statistics for invaluable

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invaluable

The first known use of invaluable was in 1576

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English Language Learners Definition of invaluable

: extremely valuable or useful


in·valu·able | \ in-ˈval-yə-wə-bəl \

Kids Definition of invaluable

: priceless … his advice and counsel will prove invaluable in dealing with such problems as might arise. —Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill

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Comments on invaluable

What made you want to look up invaluable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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