Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of worth
Meaning of worth by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( RP ): IPA: /wɜːθ/
    • ( US ): IPA: /wɜrθ/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː( r
    • Rhymes: -ɜ( r

    Etymology 1

    From worth or wurth, from Old English weorþ, from Proto-Germanic *werþaz ( “towards, opposite” ) ( the noun developing from the adjective ). Cognate with German wert/Wert, Dutch waard ( “adjective” ), Swedish värd .


    worth ( comparative more worth, superlative most worth )

    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 .
      • 2012 May 9, Jonathan Wilson, “Europa League: Radamel Falcao's Atlético Madrid rout Athletic Bilbao”, the Guardian:
        Two years after their first European trophy, Atlético were well worth their second .
    3. ( obsolete, except in Scots ) 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."

    Joan Maling ( 1983 ) shows that worth is best analysed as a preposition rather than an adjective. CGEL ( 2002 ) analyzes it as an adjective .

    Derived terms


    worth ( countable and uncountable; plural: worths )

    1. ( countable ) 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. ( uncountable ) Merit, excellence .
      Our new director is a man whose worth is well acknowledged .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    From Old English weorþan, from Proto-Germanic *werþanan, from Proto-Indo-European *wert-. Cognate with Dutch worden, German werden, Old Norse verða ( Norwegian verta, Swedish varda ), Latin vertere .


    worth ( third-person singular simple present worths present participle worthing, simple past worth or worthed, past participle worth, worthed, or worthen )

    1. ( obsolete, except in set phrases ) To be, become, betide .
      Woe worth the man that crosses me .
    Derived terms

    See also

    • worth in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • worth in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • worth at OneLook Dictionary Search
    • Joan Maling ( 1983 ), Transitive Adjectives: A Case of Categorial Reanalysis, in F. Henry and B. Richards ( eds. ), Linguistic Categories: Auxiliaries and Related Puzzles, vol.1, pp. 253-289 .



Explanation of worth by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. having a specified value

    2. not worth his salt
      worth her weight in gold
    3. worthy of being treated in a particular way

    4. an idea worth considering
    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

    3. an indefinite quantity of something having a specified value

    4. 10 dollars worth of gasoline

    Definition of worth by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Worth v. i. [OE. worthen, wurþen, to become, AS. weorðan; akin to OS. werðan, D. worden, G. werden, OHG. werdan, Icel. verða, Sw. varda, Goth. waírpan, L. vertere to turn, Skr. vṛt, v. i., to turn, to roll, to become. √143. Cf. Verse, -ward, Weird.] To be; to become; to betide; -- now used only in the phrases, woe worth the day, woe worth the man, etc., in which the verb is in the imperative, and the nouns day, man, etc., are in the dative. Woe be to the day, woe be to the man, etc., are equivalent phrases.

      I counsel . . . to let the cat worthe. Piers Plowman.

      He worth upon [got upon] his steed gray. Chaucer.

    2. Worth, a. [OE. worth, wurþ, AS. weorð, wurE; akin to OFries. werth, OS. werð, D. waard, OHG. werd, G. wert, werth, Icel. verðr, Sw. värd, Dan. værd, Goth. waírps, and perhaps to E. wary. Cf. Stalwart, Ware an article of merchandise, Worship.]

      1. Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while. [Obs.]

      It was not worth to make it wise. Chaucer.

      2. Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to be exchanged for.

      A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats. Shak.

      All our doings without charity are nothing worth. Bk. of Com. Prayer.

      If your arguments produce no conviction, they are worth nothing to me. Beattie.

      3. Deserving of; -- in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a good sense.

      To reign is worth ambition, though in hell. Milton.

      This is life indeed, life worth preserving. Addison.

      4. Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to the value of.

      At Geneva are merchants reckoned worth twenty hundred crowns. Addison.

      Worth while, or Worth the while. See under While, n.

    3. Worth, n. [OE. worth, wurþ, AS. weorð, wurð; weorð, wurð, adj. See Worth, a.]

      1. That quality of a thing which renders it valuable or useful; sum of valuable qualities which render anything useful and sought; value; hence, often, value as expressed in a standard, as money; equivalent in exchange; price.

      What 's worth in anything

      But so much money as 't will bring? Hudibras.

      2. Value in respect of moral or personal qualities; excellence; virtue; eminence; desert; merit; usefulness; as, “a man or magistrate of great worth”.

      To be of worth, and worthy estimation. Shak.

      As none but she, who in that court did dwell,

      Could know such worth, or worth describe so well. Waller.

      To think how modest worth neglected lies. Shenstone.

      Syn. -- Desert; merit; excellence; price; rate.