\ 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 candidates spent the most at WBAL-TV, Channel 11, buying a combined $717,000 worth of airtime, according to the contracts posted on the FCC’s website. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County Democrats spent nearly $1.7M on TV ads in primary," 14 July 2018 The show vote came the day after Trump announced a new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Toothless trade resolution demonstrates Congress’s unwillingness to check Trump," 12 July 2018 Just last week Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Trump just intensified his trade war with China," 11 July 2018 The United States slapped a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, and China is retaliating with taxes on an equal amount of U.S. products, including soybeans, pork and electric cars. Paul Wiseman And Josh Boak, chicagotribune.com, "U.S.-China trade war could drive prices up and growth down," 6 July 2018 Early Friday, Washington increased tariffs at 12:01 a.m. ET on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Trump's trade war cited as a major risk by US companies," 6 July 2018 These include tariffs set to go into effect on Friday on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports; China is set to retaliate with its own tariffs on American goods, including food and automotive imports. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: China says Trump’s U.S. is “opening fire on the entire world”," 5 July 2018 In March 2016, his space transportation company, SpaceX, bought $90 million worth of SolarCity stock. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Layoffs Likely Hitting Solar Panel Divisions, Internal Documents Show," 22 June 2018 Purdue bought more than $18 million worth of advertising in major medical journals that cheerily touted OxyContin. Fred Schulte, Sun-Sentinel.com, "How America got hooked on the deadly drug OxyContin," 18 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

25 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on worth

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


characteristic trappings or dress

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