invaluable

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

Definition of invaluable

  1. :  valuable beyond estimation :  priceless providing invaluable assistance

invaluableness

noun

invaluably

play \(ˌ)in-ˈval-yə-blē, -yə-wə-blē, -yü(-ə)-blē\ adverb

Examples of invaluable in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. … 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

  4. Their help has been invaluable to us.

  5. the list of likely donors proved to be invaluable to our fund-raising efforts

Recent Examples of invaluable from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of invaluable

1in- + value, verb + -able


INVALUABLE Defined for English Language Learners

invaluable

play
adjective

Definition of invaluable for English Language Learners

  • : extremely valuable or useful


INVALUABLE Defined for Kids

invaluable

play
adjective in·valu·able \in-ˈval-yə-wə-bəl\

Definition of invaluable for Students

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an extremely thin woman

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!