worth·​less | \ˈwərth-ləs \

Definition of worthless 

1a : lacking worth : valueless worthless currency

b : useless worthless to continue searching

2 : contemptible, despicable a worthless criminal

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Other Words from worthless

worthlessly adverb
worthlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for worthless


empty, junky, no-good, null, vain, valueless


useful, valuable, worthy

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Examples of worthless in a Sentence

The boots may be nice, but they're worthless if they don't fit you. She's depressed and believes that she's worthless.

Recent Examples on the Web

Falcon's backers showed their dissatisfaction with hyperinflation by tearing up worthless 500-bolivar notes and throwing them into the air like confetti. Fabiola Sanchez And Scott Smith, Fox News, "Grave crisis drives apathy in Venezuelan election," 17 May 2018 Falcon’s backers showed their dissatisfaction with hyperinflation by tearing up worthless 500-bolivar notes and throwing them into the air like confetti. Washington Post, "Grave crisis drives apathy in Venezuelan election," 17 May 2018 But the trade could now backfire, after Chatham Asset Management struck up a deal with the publisher that threatens to make those swaps all but worthless. Bloomberg.com, "Anchorage Caught Short in Chatham's McClatchy Trade," 2 May 2018 In the first are jobs that Mr Graeber tends to think are socially worthless, such as corporate lawyers or investment bankers. The Economist, "Are you stuck in a “bullshit job”?," 31 May 2018 Along the same lines, Airsoft guns and other plastic-pellet guns are worthless, as are Nerf guns presumably (and obviously). Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "How to Shoot Down a Drone," 6 Aug. 2015 The offer from the district attorney’s office makes my sister’s life so worthless. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Family of slain ASU student protests plea deal ahead of sentencing," 9 June 2018 But once the system matures, demand for money might slump, making bonds worthless. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Basis—the “stable” cryptocurrency with $133 million invested—explained," 25 Apr. 2018 But now, a decade's worth of local activism and community engagement could be made worthless. The Times Editorial Board, latimes.com, "Yes, California has a housing crisis. But killing community planning isn't how democracy should work," 7 Apr. 2018

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

circa 1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for worthless

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for worthless

The first known use of worthless was circa 1577

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More Definitions for worthless



English Language Learners Definition of worthless

: having no financial value

: having no use, importance, or effect

: having no good qualities


worth·​less | \ˈwərth-ləs \

Kids Definition of worthless

1 : lacking worth Play money is worthless.

2 : useless worthless junk

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Comments on worthless

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


playful or foolish behavior

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