\ 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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Upward of $10 million worth of work is currently planned on 56 streets in all wards for the current and 2023 construction seasons. John Benson, cleveland, 18 May 2022 The $1 billion sum is far smaller than Musk's $44 billion offer to buy Twitter, and only a fraction of Musk's $230 billion net worth. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 18 May 2022 Taxing these gains is important because unrealized gains now account for more than half of the staggering amount of wealth of the very richest Americans, those with at least $100 million of net worth. Steve Rosenthal, Forbes, 13 May 2022 An individual reported April 28 receiving a text message asking for a purchase of $800 worth of Google Play gift cards. Chicago Tribune, 10 May 2022 Back in September, seven thieves stole millions of euros worth of jewels from Bulgari shop on Place Vendome. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 5 May 2022 Creation of $95 million worth of pipelines will include tunneling under freeways and laying pipe through neighborhoods, which is expected to cause traffic delays and some road closures. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 Private-equity firms signed a total of some $151 billion worth of healthcare deals globally in 2021, driven by a glut of large transactions, WSJ Pro Private Equity previously reported. Laura Kreutzer, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Oconomowoc police are investigating the theft of over $12,000 worth of construction items from the future home of the Lake Country DockHounds. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Both of those prop bets came through for bettors and there are several others for postseason team performance and individual awards worth keeping an eye on. Jason Hoffman, The Enquirer, 13 Jan. 2022 Finally, at a meeting in Zambia, where giraffes and zebras wandered the grounds of the hotel, the board members approved eight projects worth a total of $168 million. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2021 In that case, there are plenty of Memorial Day furniture sales worth a browse. Ariel Scotti, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Pompeo also reported receiving two carpets worth a total of $19,400 from the president of Kazakhstan and the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates. Matthew Lee, USA TODAY, 21 Apr. 2021 In that case, there are plenty of Memorial Day furniture sales worth a browse. Ariel Scotti, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In that case, there are plenty of Memorial Day furniture sales worth a browse. Ariel Scotti, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In that case, there are plenty of Memorial Day furniture sales worth a browse. Ariel Scotti, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In that case, there are plenty of Memorial Day furniture sales worth a browse. Ariel Scotti, Forbes, 28 May 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Worth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worth. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for worth


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on worth

Nglish: Translation of worth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worth for Arabic Speakers


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