invaluable

adjective
in·​valu·​able | \ (ˌ)in-ˈval-yə-bəl How to pronounce invaluable (audio) , -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 How to pronounce invaluably (audio) , -​yə-​wə-​blē , -​yü(-​ə)-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms for invaluable

Synonyms

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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 For me, the opportunity to be part of a community of small business owners, facing similar challenges no matter their size or industry, was invaluable. BostonGlobe.com, "Question: The jewelry industry was a big part of Rhode Island’s economy in years past, but to what extent is it part of the state’s future economy?," 11 Nov. 2019 Military veterans bring skills and experience to a company that are invaluable in many respects, and Houston companies are reaching out for their expertise. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Veterans are in demand as they can transfer their skill set to the civilian world," 9 Nov. 2019 For adolescents, the chance to test boundaries was invaluable. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "What I learned from getting scammed by 12-year-olds," 22 Oct. 2019 While the novelty of twins being delivered by twins didn't sink in for the nurses or the parents until after the delivery, Brannan and Rebecca have since found their relationship with Tara and Tori to be invaluable. Elizabeth Wolfe And Brian Ries, CNN, "Identical twin babies were delivered by identical twin nurses at a Georgia hospital," 16 Oct. 2019 Their knowledge concerning Montgomery’s writing life and the lore of Green Gables was invaluable. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sarah McCoy, a lifelong fan, returns to Green Gables with prequel," 6 Oct. 2019 By phasing out the seemingly antiquated books, perhaps libraries would also be divesting themselves of the titles’ particular perspectives or scientific frameworks, many of which could be invaluable. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "College Students Don’t Want Fancy Libraries," 4 Oct. 2019 That experience was invaluable for Jokic and Jamal Murray. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets Mailbag: Does Malik Beasley’s switch to Klutch Sports signal trouble ahead?," 26 Sep. 2019 The experience could prove invaluable, as could the lessons learned. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Would adding veterans just get in the way for Heat?," 6 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for invaluable

Time Traveler

The first known use of invaluable was in 1576

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Statistics for invaluable

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Invaluable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/invaluable. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for invaluable

invaluable

adjective
How to pronounce invaluable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of invaluable

: extremely valuable or useful

invaluable

adjective
in·​valu·​able | \ in-ˈval-yə-wə-bəl How to pronounce invaluable (audio) \

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).

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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