valu·​able | \ ˈval-yə-bəl, -yə-wə-bəl, -yü-ə- \

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 , -​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

Cultural wins for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Off-White were as valuable as the financial successes of Casper, WeWork, and Amazon. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "A breakdown of this year’s brand winners and losers.," 27 Dec. 2018 The institutions themselves are less valuable to have access to. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 Agree with it or not, this is the just kind of challenging speculation that science fiction has always been about, and which makes the genre valuable as such. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "An artist on creating the retro art for a new edition of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers," 9 Dec. 2018 Coach Steve Clifford has said the team’s practices are just as valuable as the exhibition games. Josh Robbins,, "Magic will hold Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac out from Thursday's game," 13 July 2018 That being said, VAR is a valuable and exciting asset to the modern game, which is a step in the right direction for football., "Why VAR is a Step in the Right Direction for Football Despite the Continued Scrutiny," 12 July 2018 Another big takeaway was how valuable the bye week during the playoffs was to get Foles back on track. Zach Berman,, "What's the Eagles' plan at punter as training camp approaches? | Early Birds," 10 July 2018 Important and valuable are Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk, Barbara Steele, Edra Gale, Mario Pisu, Guido Alberti, Madeleine LeBeau and Giuditta Rissone. James Powers, The Hollywood Reporter, "'8 ½': THR's 1963 Review," 26 June 2018 Facebook’s social graph is its most valuable asset. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook needs a ‘reset’ button for your friend list," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cars are being stolen for the valuables inside, which are then traded, often for drugs. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "1990s Subaru vehicles are an emerging target for car thieves, Anchorage police say," 3 July 2018 Empty the trap into the bucket and look for any lost valuables. The Editors Of House Beautiful, House Beautiful, "How to Fix a Clogged Sink and Leaky Faucet," 11 Feb. 2015 Frankfort police are urging residents to lock their car doors and remove valuables, and also reminding residents to never leave their keys in the car. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 1 May 2018 Other biohacking fanatics have magnets or radio-frequency identification implants inserted under their fingertips as a more secure way to get into their cars or access other valuables. Maridel Reyes, Glamour, "'Biohacking' Your Anxiety Is a Buzzy Practice—but What Does It Actually Mean?," 16 Oct. 2018 Their homes were searched; their valuables were taken. Washington Post, "Rohingya say Myanmar targeted the educated in genocide," 7 June 2018 The war has left many historic buildings and their valuables in ruins. Joseph Serna,, "Authorities say ancient mosaic seized at Palmdale home was looted from war-torn Syria," 27 May 2018 The masked men burned the young boy with scalding hot water during the 30-minute ordeal in order to force the parents to tell them where their valuables were, police said. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Masked men terrorize Texas family, burn child with hot water during home invasion, officials say," 25 June 2018 Always keep your valuables on your person or in a small bag at your feet, at all times, rather than in the overhead bin—that’s your passport, wallet, and any crucial medication. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Reality of In-Flight Theft," 18 May 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

18 Jan 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, 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

Comments on valuable

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


a complex dispute or argument

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