\ ˈwərth \

Definition of worth 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : monetary value farmhouse and lands of little worth

b : the equivalent of a specified amount or figure a dollar's worth of gas

2 : the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held a literary heritage of great worth

3a : moral or personal value trying to teach human worth

b : merit, excellence a field in which we have proved our worth

4 : wealth, riches



Definition of worth (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : equal in value to

b : having assets or income equal to

2 : deserving of well worth the effort

worth one's salt

: of substantial or significant value or merit



Definition of worth (Entry 3 of 4)

1 archaic : having monetary or material value

2 archaic : estimable

for all one is worth

: to the fullest extent of one's value or ability


worthed; worthing; worths

Definition of worth (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb


: become usually used in the phrase woe worth

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Examples of worth in a Sentence


A diamond's worth is determined partly by its cut and clarity. The worth of the stocks has increased. The furniture was of little worth since it was in such bad condition. He has proved his worth to the team. The book has proved its worth by saving me hundreds of dollars.


an actor worth several million dollars The corporation is worth billions of dollars. A carefully written cover letter and resume is worth the effort. It takes a long time to get a table at the restaurant, but the food is well worth the wait. The movie was good, but I didn't think it was worth all the fuss. Chicago is worth a visit. I think you'll really like it. Do you think the car is worth buying? It is worth noting that his father and mother are also doctors. This book is not worth reading. an idea well worth consideration
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The objective is that the resultant development will make the parcel worth more, can therefore be taxed more, and will generate more revenue. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Seeing red: Which Milwaukee suburbs are closest to their debt limits?," 11 July 2018 The Federal Reserve handles $3 trillion worth of Fedwire payments per day. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Re-envisioning basic banking," 6 July 2018 So a 25 percent tariff on $30 billion worth of steel imports is going to make steel across the board more expensive in the US. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why you should give a shit about Trump’s tariffs, explained by an economic historian," 6 July 2018 The Trump administration has in recent months imposed tariffs on goods from Canada, Mexico and China, and Friday imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Samantha Bomkamp, latimes.com, "In this small steel town, Trump's tariffs have been met with a sigh of relief," 9 July 2018 In response, China will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Asian stocks fall on weak data ahead of US-China tariffs," 1 July 2018 With America now hostile to open trade, every initiative has fresh worth to countries whose prosperity was built on commerce. The Economist, "Asia is at last waking up to the threat of a trade war," 28 June 2018 Privacy - Terms Authorities say that Gonzalez arranged to sell $800 worth of marijuana oil vials to teenagers Silas Spence and Lucas Seeger, who showed up at the gym in a Mercedes with a plan to rob. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Famed for Kendall Toyota ads, he's now indicted on charges linked to deadly drug deal," 27 June 2018 The trendy detox diet consists of adding $267 worth of expensive powders to juice and water. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Why Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s iZO Superfood Cleanse Is B.S., According to a Nutritionist," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

MOSCOW — England saw its best chance of ending several generations’ worth of World Cup pain slip away on Wednesday night, as Croatia fought back for a 2-1 win in extra time, securing a spot against France in Sunday’s final. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Croatia tops England in extra time to reach World Cup final," 11 July 2018 The Gunner star recently signed a contract extension worth a reported £350,000 a week through the summer of 2021. SI.com, "Mesut Özil's Father Encourages Him to Retire From International Duty for Germany," 8 July 2018 Bradley to stay in LA Former Celtics guard Avery Bradley agreed to a two-year contract worth a reported $25 million with the Clippers . . BostonGlobe.com, "Terrell Owens off to Chattanooga for induction speech," 4 July 2018 The charges stem from her alleged use of outside caterers in their official residence — who reportedly prepared meals worth a total of $99,000. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Under Trump, Americans are becoming more supportive of immigration," 22 June 2018 But finishing each day at Blackberry Farm, the best spot in the country for foothills (or Appalachian) cuisine, makes this trip worth the splurge. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Food Adventures We Covet Most," 5 July 2018 But the system itself is worth more to crooks than the money and is unlikely to disappear. The Economist, "Trends in extortion payments by companies to Italy’s Mafia," 14 June 2018 But private interests are worth more than national team for some. SI.com, "Wife of Argentina's Sergio Romero Hits Out at Drop & Claims Goalkeeper Would Be Fit for World Cup," 23 May 2018 Win with the windows: Aliens in the windows are worth a lot of points, and those on the second story are worth more than those on the first. Kathleen Christiansen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "How to get a high score on Men in Black: Alien Attack," 26 June 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for worth


Middle English, from Old English weorth worthy, of (a specified) value; akin to Old High German werd worthy, worth


Middle English, from Old English weorthan; akin to Old High German werdan to become, Latin vertere to turn, Lithuanian versti to overturn, Sanskrit vartate he turns

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Statistics for worth

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for worth

The first known use of worth was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for worth



English Language Learners Definition of worth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an amount of something that has a specified value, that lasts for a specified length of time, etc.

: the amount of money that something is worth

: usefulness or importance



English Language Learners Definition of worth (Entry 2 of 2)

—used to indicate the value of something

: having money and possessions equal in value to (an amount)

: good, valuable, or important enough for (something) : deserving of (something)


\ ˈwərth \

Kids Definition of worth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : equal in value to The painting is worth thousands of dollars.

2 : having possessions or income equal to She is worth millions.

3 : deserving of This project is worth the effort.

4 : capable of I ran for all I was worth.



Kids Definition of worth (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the value or usefulness of something or someone Teammates praised his worth to the team.

2 : value as expressed in money or in amount of time something will last a week's worth of groceries

3 : excellence a man of worth

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