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 The collection of souvenirs may or may not be valuable. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: For hopeful mom-to-be, timing will be everything," 30 Nov. 2019 That’s even more valuable to consumers, worth maybe a couple of dollars. Jenni Avins, Quartz, "The life-changing magic of the lucrative transformation economy," 28 Nov. 2019 Tate does have the potential to extend plays with his legs, which is a dimension valuable to the offense. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Arizona State vs. Arizona: Which team has the edge at quarterback?," 27 Nov. 2019 For instance, a 350-inch average in the Rockies is more valuable to skiers than a similar average in California’s Sierra. New York Times, "The Snowiest Mountains: Where to Ski, and When," 27 Nov. 2019 Her colorful evil eye pendants and snake rings are grails for jewelry lovers, identifiably hers and more valuable for being so. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Ileana Makri’s Appointment at Reinstein Ross Brings Together Two of Jewelry’s Most Beloved Names," 27 Nov. 2019 More recently, observations from the many instruments called microwave sounders attached to different satellites orbiting the planet have become even more valuable to forecasters. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "Could your next cell phone wreck our weather forecasts?," 26 Nov. 2019 But choosing the moments where being phone-free is most valuable can help keep you on track. Terri R. Kurtzberg, The Conversation, "How to tell if your digital addiction is ruining your life," 26 Nov. 2019 Ukraine, for all its deep flaws, is valuable to us as a check on Russia’s aggression, another conclusion about which the president is skeptical. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lafayette police are looking for three people who allegedly entered a home Tuesday evening with a pistol and restrained two residents before stealing valuables and personal items. Alejandro Serrano,, "Lafayette police search for three home invasion suspects," 27 Nov. 2019 Lastly, most people shopping for a rooftop carrier prefer one that locks, allowing you to stash valuables at, say, a campsite when your only other option is inside your tent. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "7 Best Rooftop Cargo Carriers," 19 Nov. 2019 Across the state, families have fled fires in the dark of night amid howling winds; thousands have huddled in evacuation centers, their cars packed with valuables., "How parents and teachers can calm kids’ fire anxiety," 30 Oct. 2019 Firetrucks lined the street, smoke choked the air and ash rained down as residents hurried to pack valuables into their cars. Anchorage Daily News, "More homes burned, firefighter injured as Northern California’s Kincade blaze grows," 28 Oct. 2019 Light and heat don’t get in, and potential thieves can’t see valuables left inside. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Smart glass can save fuel, keep vehicles cooler: How it works," 26 Oct. 2019 That day, prosecutors allege, Melton strangled DeSousa and made off with his car and valuables. Los Angeles Times, "Murder conviction overturned for ex-death row inmate in 1981 Newport Beach slaying," 8 Oct. 2019 The courts now prefer that volunteers wait until the hand has emerged clutching valuables. The Economist, "Volunteers are nabbing Venice’s pickpockets," 5 Sep. 2019 The division said her items will be removed from auction until the state goes through the unclaimed property claims process to return the valuables. Chabeli Herrera,, "An Orlando bank lost her jewels. She sued and lost. And then they turned up — at an auction," 28 Aug. 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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Valuable.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

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


to constrict the range or activity of

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