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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Adjective 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 In this new risk environment, stakeholder trust is a company’s most valuable asset. Alison Taylor, Quartz at Work, "2020 will be the year when corporate activism and global political risk converge," 5 Feb. 2020 The reflective surface also makes the room feel bigger—a valuable asset in a three-foot-wide house! Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Kelly Finley Creates a Modern Dollhouse Inspired by "Black Girl Magic"," 4 Feb. 2020 Future first-round picks: Still the Pistons’ most valuable trade assets. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons at NBA trade deadline: How do other teams value the assets?," 1 Feb. 2020 Microsoft would never actually sell its most valuable asset to another company, let alone to a little tropical factory. Fortune, "Ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings, Facebook faces costly regulatory pitfalls," 28 Jan. 2020 Microsoft would never actually sell its most valuable asset to another company, let alone to a little tropical factory. Paul Kiel, ProPublica, "The IRS Decided to Get Tough Against Microsoft. Microsoft Got Tougher.," 22 Jan. 2020 In other words: A college education is valuable to the extent other people are not getting one. Thomas Geoghegan, The New Republic, "This is a high school nation," 20 Jan. 2020 This includes the perception that, with institutional investors dominant, the most valuable assets on the exchange remain out of reach or that the market is rigged in favor of insiders. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Fintech startups are making it easier for Nigerian millennials to invest in US stocks," 16 Jan. 2020 Peck was the youngest player on the team and proved to be a valuable asset during the undefeated playoff run, while LaMari Graham played an integral role in the Knights victory. Emmett Hall,, "Knights crowned Pompano Beach flag football league champions," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Movable shelving units that, like in a murder mystery movie, can be opened to reveal, say, a panic room or a safe for valuables. Richard A. Marini,, "High-end pantries are now a second kitchen with extra appliances, work stations, gift wrapping areas and more," 25 Jan. 2020 Remains of the Titanic are protected from people diving for valuables thanks to a treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom that was ratified last month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Fox News, "Never-before-seen Titanic artifacts on display for first time in Las Vegas," 24 Jan. 2020 Working alongside Interpol, the LAPD managed to capture two men involved in the burglary spree in 1993, but the valuables appeared to be lost for good. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "A trove of art stolen in the ’90s has turned up. LAPD is looking for the original owners," 4 Sep. 2019 While officials used to simply caution against leaving valuables in plain view to deter thieves, that is no longer enough. Megan Cassidy,, "As auto burglaries spike in East Bay, police pool resources," 10 Jan. 2020 Police are warning residents to lock their vehicles and remove valuables from their cars after a slew of car thefts and break-ins in Shorewood, Whitefish Bay and Fox Point. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Car thefts are on the rise in Shorewood, Whitefish Bay and Fox Point," 11 July 2019 In total, the treasurer’s office is holding onto about $1 billion of valuables. Alex Burness, The Denver Post, "Colorado woman reclaims long-lost emerald necklace valued at more than $150,000," 24 Nov. 2019 Make sure any of your valuables that could be affected by water are safely put away. Dave Epstein,, "Hurricane Dorian: What the latest forecast says," 30 Aug. 2019 As Woodard began to turn over valuables, a second man yanked open the driver's door and shot into the car multiple times. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'How sinister': Two men charged with killing son of Milwaukee peace activist Camille Mays," 11 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for valuable

Time Traveler

The first known use of valuable was circa 1576

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Statistics for valuable

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Valuable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for valuable


How to pronounce valuable (audio) How to pronounce valuable (audio)

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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Comments on valuable

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