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


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

Working as both artist-in-residence and programmer at the storefront venue, Hadero got invaluable first-hand experience in the way a performance space can engage with a neighborhood and nurture a creative scene. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "YBCA names rising star in Bay Area arts scene to key curating post," 11 Sep. 2019 Being around a first-team environment on a daily basis is no doubt of huge benefit in terms of exposure to the demands of being a professional footballer and gaining invaluable experience., "Why Mason Greenwood Has to Now Start Games for Manchester United," 9 Sep. 2019 This game provided an opportunity for those players to gain invaluable experience. Michael Lev, azcentral, "Arizona football rewind: 5 takeaways from the Wildcats' victory over NAU," 9 Sep. 2019 Since Libby’s discovery, radiocarbon dating has become an invaluable tool for archaeologists, paleontologists, and others looking for reliable dates for organic matter. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Radiocarbon helps date ancient objects—but it's not perfect," 12 July 2019 My current position has provided me with an incredible team, room for growth, and invaluable experience with providing patient care via telehealth/phone triage. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "Patient First Voted Best Workplace," 21 June 2019 The weekly dance and lessons are a good form of exercise while at the same time providing an invaluable social experience. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sharon Cooper to receive 2018 Senior Citizen of the Year Award and Service to Seniors Award," 3 May 2019 The opportunity to hear recommendations and best practices directly from the highest level law enforcement is invaluable. Sergio Carmona,, "ADL conducting security conferences for South Florida religious institutions," 12 Sep. 2019 Hurricane Dorian, the strongest to ever hit the Bahamas, has had a unique path, and the data the Hurricane Hunters have collected from inside the storm has been invaluable. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, CNN, "While residents evacuate, these men and women are flying straight into Hurricane Dorian," 3 Sep. 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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Statistics for invaluable

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for invaluable

The first known use of invaluable was in 1576

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More Definitions for invaluable



English Language Learners Definition of invaluable

: extremely valuable or useful


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).


transposition of initial sounds of words

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