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 invaluable (audio) , -​yə-​wə-​blē , -​yü(-​ə)-​blē \ adverb

Synonyms for invaluable


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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 Socializing, getting honest feedback from friends, and seeing first-hand what girls want to wear has been invaluable. Karin Eldor, Forbes, "Meet The 25-Year-Old Founder Of Emi Jay, Who Launched The Hair Accessory Empire 12 Years Ago," 6 May 2021 Officials said that their investigation had taken several years and that tips from the public were invaluable. Los Angeles Times, "Three teenagers arrested for allegedly starting Thousand Oaks brush fire," 6 May 2021 Another's Successes Celebrations can be done on social media, of course, or through online reviews, but person-to-person connection is invaluable. Expert Panel, Forbes, "Eight Ways Female Entrepreneurs Can Support Other Women In Business," 21 Apr. 2021 For anti-vaccine forces, social media platforms are invaluable. K. "vish" Viswanath For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The consequences will be deadly if we don't fight vaccine misinformation," 15 Apr. 2021 On these missions to Earth orbit, and eventually to the Moon, every minute was invaluable. Jonathan O’callaghan, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Do Astronauts Spend Their Weekends in Space?," 13 Apr. 2021 Her 5-year-old restaurant-style propane heaters were invaluable., "Michigan sports fans couldn't attend games during COVID-19. Here's how they coped," 11 Apr. 2021 Where Jackson was once replaceable, the veteran is now invaluable. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers will again rely on Reggie Jackson to fill a void," 10 Apr. 2021 Learning about these nuances before entering a conversation is invaluable. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Silence is the most misunderstood negotiation superpower," 8 Apr. 2021

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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Invaluable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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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