valu·​able | \ ˈval-yə-bəl How to pronounce valuable (audio) , -yə-wə-bəl, -yü-ə- How to pronounce valuable (audio) \

Definition of valuable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having monetary value
b : worth a good price
2a : having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities valuable friendships
b : of great use or service valuable advice



Definition of valuable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a usually personal possession (such as jewelry) of relatively great monetary value usually used in plural

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Other Words from valuable


valuableness noun
valuably \ ˈval-​yə-​blē How to pronounce valuably (audio) , -​yə-​wə-​blē , -​yü-​ə-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for valuable

Synonyms: Adjective

big-ticket, costly, dear, expensive, extravagant, high, high-end, high-ticket, precious, premium, priceless, pricey (also pricy), spendy [chiefly Northwest], ultraexpensive

Antonyms: Adjective

cheap, inexpensive

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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 valuable in a Sentence


The watch is extremely valuable. A lot of valuable advice can be found in this book. I learned a valuable lesson. He made many valuable contributions to the field of science. The volunteers provide a valuable service to the community. She is a valuable member of the staff. Clean air is a valuable natural resource that needs to be protected. Please don't waste my time. My time is very valuable.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

For one thing, medical parcels are lightweight but valuable, so drone costs would make up a relatively small portion of the final bill. The Economist, "Drone deliveries are advancing in health care," 14 June 2019 But that will only happen if the recycling stream is cleared of contamination, making its components more valuable. Greg Larose,, "Tighter margins narrow the New Orleans recycling stream," 13 June 2019 Co-most valuable pitcher in the Diablo Athletic League’s Valley Division went 7-3 with a 1.06 ERA, including a shutout in the NCS Division III final as Alhambra defeated Bishop O’Dowd 2-0. Darren Sabedra, The Mercury News, "All-Bay Area News Group baseball: Meet the 2019 team," 12 June 2019 But the mining operations are too hard, and too valuable, to move. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Radiohead Gets ‘Hacked,’ a T-Mobile/Sprint Hiccup, and More News," 11 June 2019 Part of the problem, according to one expert, is that Michigan hasn't mapped its geology since 1915, so developers, often unwittingly, continue to build homes on top of valuable and needed aggregate resources. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Emails show MDOT let lobbyist steer report on gravel shortage for Michigan roads," 6 June 2019 But soda bottles are made of different plastic resins and are more valuable, officials say. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "How a decision by the Chinese government reverberates into your Anchorage recycling bin," 6 June 2019 Treated sludge from West Virginia coal mines contain heavy rare-earths in particular, which are valuable and have few suppliers outside of China. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "China’s saber-rattling on rare-earths trade has US officials looking for options," 30 May 2019 In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his eighteenth book, Dennett presents a valuable and typically lucid synthesis of his worldview. Thomas Nagel, The New York Review of Books, "Thomas Nagel," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Extra perk: 48 wallet-sized lockers for storing valuables at no extra charge. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "7 sensational Bay Area pools to escape the heat," 10 June 2019 A 19th century clock containing four pendulums was lost to the flames, but many other valuables were retrieved. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "What Was Saved in the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire," 17 Apr. 2019 Michelle Stober loaded up her valuables Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Ahead of Hurricane Florence, Carolinians ignore calls to evacuate for financial, employment reasons," 12 Sep. 2018 Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to take back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "“Monster” Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast," 11 Sep. 2018 The residents were then distracted while a second individual is believed to have entered their homes looking for valuables, police said. Jennifer Johnson,, "Police: More Park Ridge residents report burglaries by visitors posting as workers," 23 Apr. 2018 Police said one man distracted the woman outside her apartment while the other and cased the inside for valuables. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "‘We can confirm that this is real,’ police say after posting pic of burglary suspect | Charlotte Observer," 3 Apr. 2018 One of Houston's most popular listening rooms is picking up the pieces after thieves broke into the music venue looking for valuables. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Houston's Mucky Duck music venue hit by unsuccessful thieves early Monday morning," 15 Jan. 2018 Authorities tell you to go, get your important papers, get your pictures, get your valuables, and just go. Fox News, "George Papadopoulos on what he wants the American people to know," 12 Sep. 2018

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


circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valuable


value entry 2 + -able


noun derivative of valuable entry 1

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Statistics for valuable

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for valuable

The first known use of valuable was circa 1576

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More Definitions for valuable



English Language Learners Definition of valuable

: worth a lot of money
: very useful or helpful
: important and limited in amount


valu·​able | \ ˈval-yə-wə-bəl How to pronounce valuable (audio) , ˈval-yə-bəl\

Kids Definition of valuable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : worth a lot of money
2 : of great use or service “I must not take any more of your valuable time.”— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web



Kids Definition of valuable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a personal possession of great value

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More from Merriam-Webster on valuable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for valuable

Spanish Central: Translation of valuable

Nglish: Translation of valuable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of valuable for Arabic Speakers

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