worth·​while | \ˈwərth-ˈhwī(-ə)l, -ˈwī(-ə)l\

Definition of worthwhile 

1 : being worth the time or effort spent worthwhile preparations

2 : worthy sense 1 a worthwhile cause

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Other Words from worthwhile

worthwhileness noun

Examples of worthwhile in a Sentence

The money is for a worthwhile cause. Seeing my children's joy made building the tree house all worthwhile. Is it worthwhile to try to fix my computer?
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Recent Examples on the Web

There’s enough new life at both the zoo and Safari Park to make a visit worthwhile. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For the Fourth, bring out the (San Diego Zoo) babies!," 3 July 2018 The company’s internal projections, according to someone familiar with the early stages of Amazon’s plans, determined that a store needed thousands of office workers within a few-block radius to make the investment worthwhile. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Amazon Go cashierless convenience store opening to the public," 20 Jan. 2018 Doing small things feels just as worthwhile in Breath of the Wild as doing big things. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "10 Short Video Games to Take on Vacation," 4 July 2018 The car makers’ approach is unusual, but German officials said any approach could be worthwhile to try to sway a president whose actions have left his allies perplexed at best. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Germany’s Largest Auto Makers Back Abolition of EU-U.S. Car Import Tariffs," 20 June 2018 Enough of them connect to warrant trying; a loose, confident Curry is still the surest way for the Warriors to dominate, making the tradeoffs for those attempts largely worthwhile. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Stephen Curry's Shooting Bucks Conventional Math, Breaks Cavs' Resolve in Game 2," 4 June 2018 In a network of smaller satellites, each sat is less powerful and carriers fewer sensors, making them harder to hit with weapons and less worthwhile as targets for foreign weaponry. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Pentagon Thinks Small Satellites Can Solve Big Problems," 22 May 2018 Nor did anything feel as worthwhile as the sight of those propellers cutting into the horizon led me to imagine. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "State of Decay 2 review: Shambling toward nothing," 22 May 2018 Becoming well-informed takes time and money, and is more worthwhile in some cases than others. The Economist, "Fake news flourishes when partisan audiences crave it," 5 Apr. 2018

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

1662, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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The first known use of worthwhile was in 1662

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English Language Learners Definition of worthwhile

: worth doing or getting : good enough, important enough, etc., to be worth spending time, effort, or money on


worth·​while | \ˈwərth-ˈhwīl, -ˈwīl\

Kids Definition of worthwhile

: being worth the time spent or effort used a worthwhile trip

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Comments on worthwhile

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


by force of circumstances

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