AskDefine | Define worth

The Collaborative Dictionary

Worth \Worth\, v. i. [OE. worthen, wur[thorn]en, to become, AS. weor[eth]an; akin to OS. wer[eth]an, D. worden, G. werden, OHG. werdan, Icel. ver[eth]a, Sw. varda, Goth. wa['i]rpan, L. vertere to turn, Skr. v[.r]t, v. i., to turn, to roll, to become. [root]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. [1913 Webster] I counsel . . . to let the cat worthe. --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster] He worth upon [got upon] his steed gray. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
Worth \Worth\, a. [OE. worth, wur[thorn], AS. weor[eth], wurE; akin to OFries. werth, OS. wer[eth], D. waard, OHG. werd, G. wert, werth, Icel. ver[eth]r, Sw. v[aum]rd, Dan. v[ae]rd, Goth. wa['i]rps, and perhaps to E. wary. Cf. Stalwart, Ware an article of merchandise, Worship.] [1913 Webster]
Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] It was not worth to make it wise. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to be exchanged for. [1913 Webster] A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats. --Shak. [1913 Webster] All our doings without charity are nothing worth. --Bk. of Com. Prayer. [1913 Webster] If your arguments produce no conviction, they are worth nothing to me. --Beattie. [1913 Webster]
Deserving of; -- in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a good sense. [1913 Webster] To reign is worth ambition, though in hell. --Milton. [1913 Webster] This is life indeed, life worth preserving. --Addison. [1913 Webster]
Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to the value of. [1913 Webster] At Geneva are merchants reckoned worth twenty hundred crowns. --Addison. [1913 Webster] Worth while, or Worth the while. See under While, n. [1913 Webster]
Worth \Worth\, n. [OE. worth, wur[thorn], AS. weor[eth], wur[eth]; weor[eth], wur[eth], adj. See Worth, a.] [1913 Webster]
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. [1913 Webster] What 's worth in anything But so much money as 't will bring? --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]
Value in respect of moral or personal qualities; excellence; virtue; eminence; desert; merit; usefulness; as, a man or magistrate of great worth. [1913 Webster] To be of worth, and worthy estimation. --Shak. [1913 Webster] As none but she, who in that court did dwell, Could know such worth, or worth describe so well. --Waller. [1913 Webster] To think how modest worth neglected lies. --Shenstone. [1913 Webster] Syn: Desert; merit; excellence; price; rate. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]

Word Net

worth adj
1 having sufficient worth; "an idea worth considering"; "a cause deserving or meriting support"; "the deserving poor" (often used ironically) [syn: deserving(p), meriting(p), worth(p)]
2 having a specified value; "not worth his salt"; "worth her weight in gold" [syn: worth(p)]


1 an indefinite quantity of something having a specified value; "10 dollars worth of gasoline"
2 the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful [ant: worthlessness]
3 French couturier (born in England) regarded as the founder of Parisian haute couture; noted for introducing the bustle (1825-1895) [syn: Charles Frederick Worth]

Moby Thesaurus

accent, account, ad valorem, advantage, advantageousness, agreeableness, appraised, approbation, approval, assessed, auspiciousness, avail, behalf, behoof, beneficialness, benefit, benevolence, benignity, blessed with, caliber, class, cogency, concern, concernment, consequence, consequentiality, consideration, convenience, conversion factor, credit, dearness, desert, emphasis, enfeoffed, esteem, estimation, evaluated, excellence, expedience, extraordinary worth, face, face value, fairness, favor, favorableness, fineness, first-rateness, fortune, good for, goodliness, goodness, grace, great price, great value, having, having and holding, healthiness, helpfulness, high order, high rank, holding, honor, import, importance, in possession of, interest, invaluableness, kindness, landed, landholding, landowning, mark, market value, master of, materiality, merit, moment, net worth, niceness, note, occupying, owning, par value, paramountcy, pennyworth, percentage, perfection, pleasantness, point, possessed of, possessing, precedence, preciousness, preeminence, price, priced, pricelessness, primacy, priority, prized, pro rata, profit, profitableness, propertied, property, property-owning, quality, rate, rated, regard, resources, respect, rewardingness, riches, seized of, self-importance, service, significance, skillfulness, soundness, stature, stress, substance, superiority, supremacy, tenured, use, usefulness, utility, validity, valuableness, valuation, value, value received, valued, valued at, virtue, virtuousness, weight, wholeness



Etymology 1

weorþ < (the noun developing from the adjective). Cognate with German wert/Wert, Dutch waard, Swedish värd.


  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. In the context of "obsolete|except in Scots": Valuable, worth while.
  4. Making a fair equivalent of, repaying or compensating.
    This job is hardly worth the effort.

Derived terms

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."


equal in value to
  • Dutch: gelijkwaardig aan
  • French: équivalent
  • German: Wert
  • Korean: 값나가다
deserving of
  • Dutch: gewaardeerd
  • French: méritant
  • German: verdienen
  • Korean: 값어치있다
valuable, worthwhile (obsolete)
  • Korean: 값지다
making a fair equivalent of
  • Dutch: vermogen
  • German: Wert
  • Korean: 값어치있다


  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.


  • Arabic: قيمة
  • Chinese: 价值
  • Dutch: waarde
  • French: valeur
  • German: Wert
  • Italian: valore
  • Japanese: 価値 (かち)
  • Korean: 값, 값어치, 가치 (價値)
  • Portuguese: valor
  • Russian: цена, ценность
  • Spanish: valor
  • Swedish: värde

Derived terms

Etymology 2

weorþan. Cognate with Dutch worden, German werden, Latin vertere.


  1. In the context of "obsolete|except in set phrases": To be, become, betide.
    Woe worth the man that crosses me.



  1. Valuable, worth while.
Worth may refer to:
In the United Kingdom:


  • Worth School, a boys private Catholic school ranging from years 7 to 13 (ages 11 to 18), located near Crawley, England

Other uses

See also

worth in French: Worth
worth in Dutch: Worth
worth in Polish: Worth
worth in Volapük: Worth
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