Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login




(1)   The quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful
(2)   French couturier (born in England) regarded as the founder of Parisian haute couture; noted for introducing the bustle (1825-1895)
(3)   An indefinite quantity of something having a specified value
"10 dollars worth of gasoline"

Etymology 1

< (the noun developing from the adjective). Cognate with German /, Dutch , Swedish .


  1. Having a value of; proper to be exchanged for.
    My house now is worth double what I paid for it.
    Cleanliness is the virtue most worth having but one.
  2. Deserving of.
    I think you’ll find my proposal worth your attention.
  3. Valuable, worth while.
  4. Making a fair equivalent of, repaying or compensating.
    This job is hardly worth the effort.

Usage notes

The modern adjectival senses of worth compare two noun phrases, prompting some sources to classify the word as a preposition. Most, however, list it an adjective, some with notes like "governing a noun with prepositional force". Fowler's Modern English Usage says, "the adjective worth requires what is most easily described as an object."


  1. Value.
    I’ll have a dollar's worth of candy, please.
    They have proven their worths as individual fighting men and their worth as a unit.
  2. Merit, excellence.
    Our new director is a man whose worth is well acknowledged.

Etymology 2

. Cognate with Dutch , German , Latin , Old Norse (Norwegian ).


  1. To be, become, betide.
    Woe worth the man that crosses me.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 3, "Lndlord Edmund"
      For, adds our erudite Friend, the Saxon weorthan equivalent to the German werden, means to grow, to become; traces of which old vocable are still found in the North-country dialects, as, ‘What is word of him?’ meaning ‘What is become of him?’ and the like. Nay we in modern English still say, ‘Woe worth the hour.’ {Woe befall the hour}