\ ˈwərth How to pronounce worth (audio) \

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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Synonyms for worth

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of worth in a Sentence

Noun 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. Preposition 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 In mid-September, Fox ordered $4,000 worth of explosives from an undercover FBI agent. Tommy Beer, Forbes, "Weapons Of Mass Destruction Charge Added Against Men Accused Of Plotting To Kidnap Michigan Governor," 28 Apr. 2021 Garrett estimated more than $40,000 worth of tools and materials had been stolen that morning. oregonlive, "‘It looked like a bomb went off.’ Portland man accused of ransacking businesses to steal heaps of metal," 27 Apr. 2021 The office alleges that somewhere from $140,000 to $280,000 worth of strips were recovered during the investigation. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Thirteen people, including corrections staffer, charged in alleged smuggling ring at women’s prison in Anne Arundel," 26 Apr. 2021 Each month, a dozen beasts consume at least $2,000 worth of sugar cane, pineapples and bananas. New York Times, "Phuket Was Poised for Tourism Comeback. A Covid Surge Dashed Those Hopes.," 25 Apr. 2021 Over the course of three days, Bondi and her team repainted several of the rooms from taupe to white and brought in nearly $200,000 worth of staging furniture. Dallas News, "After 3 years on the market, Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando mansion gets a makeover — with less Shaq," 23 Apr. 2021 Over the course of three days, Bondi and her team repainted several of the rooms from taupe to white and brought in nearly $200,000 worth of staging furniture. Trevor Fraser, orlandosentinel.com, "3 years unsold, Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando mansion gets a makeover, with less Shaq," 23 Apr. 2021 More than $241,000 worth of merchandise has been returned to businesses since the incident, said Scottsdale police. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale police arrest 2 more in connection to May looting, bringing total to 57," 22 Apr. 2021 The caller stated that, in order to protect her money, the woman needed to purchase $20,000 worth of gift cards. cleveland, "Believing she was in trouble with federal officials, woman scammed into buying $20,000 worth of gift cards: Lyndhurst police blotter," 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Is a fashion statement worth the suffering, environmental damage, and public health risk? BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts prohibit the sale of new fur products in the state?," 29 Apr. 2021 But Saturday morning, after three generations’ worth of waiting, that moment finally arrived. Los Angeles Times, "Armenian American activists welcome U.S. recognition of genocide but say fight isn’t over," 24 Apr. 2021 Stock it with enough to pay three to nine months’ worth of all your living expenses, such as food, housing, taxes, insurance, transportation, utilities and so on. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Coca-Cola has a worldwide footprint — and plenty of room to grow," 14 June 2020 The champion receives $2,500, a pittance compared to the National Spelling Bee's first prize of $50,000, but worth a middle-schooler's time and effort all the same. Ben Nuckols, The Christian Science Monitor, "US spelling bee canceled, but the spelling will go on(line)," 28 May 2020 The plan includes big incentives for consumers to buy new cars, with the government offering subsidies worth more than $7,000 for electric vehicles and $2,000 for a hybrid. Charles Riley, CNN, "Renault and Nissan deepen their alliance in bid to survive the coronavirus crisis," 27 May 2020 And the $3 fee to enter the pier is worth the experience to watch the friendly fishermen, the hungry pelicans, and the occasional dolphins passing by. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "25 Best Beaches in the U.S.," 20 May 2020 The man stole coffee and energy drink worth a total value of $10. cleveland, "Drunk woman passes out with daughter, 7, in car: Shaker Heights police blotter," 9 May 2020 Now, Kate’s job is to sort through piles of mildewed correspondences, personal papers, medical records and random receipts, even some of Miranda’s prized intimate photographs possibly worth a fortune, and organize a collection. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "Review: Sara Sligar's debut novel 'Take Me Apart' a dark and absorbing psychological drama," 28 Apr. 2020

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, going back to Old English weorþ, wyrth (strong neuter noun), going back to Germanic *werþa- (whence also Old Frisian werth, worth "value," Old Saxon werth "payment, price," Old High German werd "value, price," Old Icelandic verð, Gothic wairþ "price"), noun derivative from *werþa-, adjective, "of value" — more at worth entry 3


Middle English, from worth worth entry 3


Middle English, "having monetary value, valuable, having status, deserving, highborn, efficacious, strong," going back to Old English weorþ, wyrþ, worþ "having monetary value, valuable," going back to Germanic *werþa- (whence also Old Frisian werth "of value," Old Saxon werth "of value, worthy, dear," Old High German werd, wert "of value, valuable," Old Icelandic verðr "of value, worthy," Gothic wairþs "deserving"), of uncertain origin

Note: The Middle English adjective continues in part Old English wierðe, wyrðe "worthy, deserving," a ja-stem adjective from the same base. Welsh gwerth "worth, value, price" (whence gwerthu "to sell"), along with Middle Breton guerz, is perhaps an early loan from Old English.


Middle English worthen "to exist, be, come into existence, become, change, happen," going back to Old English weorþan, wurþan (class III strong verb) "to become, come to be, happen," going back to Germanic *werþan- (whence also Old Frisian wertha "to become, happen, arise," Old Saxon werthan, Old High German werdan, Old Icelandic verða, Gothic wairþan "to become"), going back to an Indo-European verbal base *u̯ert- "turn," whence also Latin vertō, vertere "to cause to revolve, turn, spin," vertor "(I) change direction, turn," Lithuanian verčiù, ver͂sti "to cause to turn," Sanskrit vártate "(it) turns, rolls, revolves"; with zero-grade ablaut Old Church Slavic vrǔštǫ, vrǔteti sę "to turn oneself"; with a causative stem *u̯ort- Old Church Slavic vraštǫ, vratiti "to make turn," Sanskrit vartáyati "(s/he) makes turn"; from an n-present old Church Slavic obvrǔnǫti sę "to turn around," Tocharian B wärnāmane "turning"

Note: In Germanic the Indo-European base *u̯ert- "turn" developed the figurative sense "become, happen" (compare, in English, "the milk turned sour"), which has largely displaced the literal senses (but compare the suffix *-wearda- -ward entry 1).

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Time Traveler for worth

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worth. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce worth (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on worth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worth

Nglish: Translation of worth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worth for Arabic Speakers

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