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[val-yoo] /ˈvæl yu/
relative worth, merit, or importance:
the value of a college education; the value of a queen in chess.
monetary or material worth, as in commerce or trade:
This piece of land has greatly increased in value.
the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged or in terms of some medium of exchange.
equivalent worth or return in money, material, services, etc.:
to give value for value received.
estimated or assigned worth; valuation:
a painting with a current value of $500,000.
denomination, as of a monetary issue or a postage stamp.
  1. magnitude; quantity; number represented by a figure, symbol, or the like:
    the value of an angle; the value of x; the value of a sum.
  2. a point in the range of a function; a point in the range corresponding to a given point in the domain of a function:
    The value of x 2 at 2 is 4.
import or meaning; force; significance:
the value of a word.
liking or affection; favorable regard.
values, Sociology. the ideals, customs, institutions, etc., of a society toward which the people of the group have an affective regard. These values may be positive, as cleanliness, freedom, or education, or negative, as cruelty, crime, or blasphemy.
Ethics. any object or quality desirable as a means or as an end in itself.
Fine Arts.
  1. degree of lightness or darkness in a color.
  2. the relation of light and shade in a painting, drawing, or the like.
Music. the relative length or duration of a tone signified by a note.
values, Mining. the marketable portions of an orebody.
  1. quality.
  2. the phonetic equivalent of a letter, as the sound of a in hat, sang, etc.
verb (used with object), valued, valuing.
to calculate or reckon the monetary value of; give a specified material or financial value to; assess; appraise:
to value their assets.
to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.
to regard or esteem highly:
He values her friendship.
Origin of value
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French, noun use of feminine past participle (cf. valuta) of valoir < Latin valēre to be worth
Related forms
misvalue, verb (used with object), misvalued, misvaluing.
nonvalue, noun
outvalue, verb (used with object), outvalued, outvaluing.
prevalue, noun, verb (used with object), prevalued, prevaluing.
self-valuing, adjective
supervalue, noun, verb (used with object), supervalued, supervaluing.
1. utility. 3. cost, price. 18. prize.
Synonym Study
1. Value, worth imply intrinsic excellence or desirability. Value is that quality of anything which renders it desirable or useful: the value of sunlight or good books. Worth implies especially spiritual qualities of mind and character, or moral excellence: Few knew her true worth. 18. See appreciate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for value
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Obulus, (plural Oboli)—A small coin, about the value of a penny.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He's too honest entirely to stale the value of a pin, let alone a carpetbag.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • As a result the grain in the Egyptian markets had greatly increased in value.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • I can bear witness to the value of her services in South Carolina and Florida.

  • It was but just, that a man should be spoken evil of, who set no value upon his reputation.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for value


the desirability of a thing, often in respect of some property such as usefulness or exchangeability; worth, merit, or importance
an amount, esp a material or monetary one, considered to be a fair exchange in return for a thing; assigned valuation: the value of the picture is £10 000
reasonable or equivalent return; satisfaction: value for money
precise meaning or significance
(pl) the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person or social group: a person with old-fashioned values
  1. a particular magnitude, number, or amount: the value of the variable was 7
  2. the particular quantity that is the result of applying a function or operation for some given argument: the value of the function for x=3 was 9
(music) short for time value
(in painting, drawing, etc)
  1. a gradation of tone from light to dark or of colour luminosity
  2. the relation of one of these elements to another or to the whole picture
(phonetics) the quality or tone of the speech sound associated with a written character representing it: `g' has the value in English `gem'
verb (transitive) -ues, -uing, -ued
to assess or estimate the worth, merit, or desirability of; appraise
to have a high regard for, esp in respect of worth, usefulness, merit, etc; esteem or prize: to value freedom
(foll by at) to fix the financial or material worth of (a unit of currency, work of art, etc): jewels valued at £40 000
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from valoir, from Latin valēre to be worth, be strong
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for value

c.1300, from Old French value "worth, value" (13c.), noun use of fem. past participle of valoir "be worth," from Latin valere "be strong, be well, be of value" (see valiant). The meaning "social principle" is attested from 1918, supposedly borrowed from the language of painting. Value judgment (1892) is a loan-translation of German Werturteil.


mid-15c., probably from value (n.). Related: Valued, valuing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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value in Medicine

value val·ue (vāl'yōō)

  1. A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.

  2. An assigned or calculated numerical quantity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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value in Science
  1. Mathematics An assigned or calculated numerical quantity.

  2. The relative darkness or lightness of a color. Value measures where a color falls on an achromatic scale from white to black. Compare hue, saturation.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with value


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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