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See more synonyms for indispensable on Thesaurus.com
  1. absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite: an indispensable member of the staff.
  2. incapable of being disregarded or neglected: an indispensable obligation.
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  1. a person or thing that is indispensable.
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Origin of indispensable

First recorded in 1525–35, indispensable is from the Medieval Latin word indispēnsābilis not subject to dispensation. See in-3, dispensable
Related formsin·dis·pen·sa·bil·i·ty, in·dis·pen·sa·ble·ness, nounin·dis·pen·sa·bly, adverb


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. needed. See necessary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for indispensability

Historical Examples

  • Relying on their indispensability, they quietly erected a synagogue in about 1626.

    History of the Jews, Vol. IV (of VI)

    Heinrich Graetz

  • Foremost in importance, in indispensability, among her duties are these Sunday ones.

    Red as a Rose is She

    Rhoda Broughton

  • I have nothing to do with its possibility, but only with its indispensability.

    Lectures on Art

    John Ruskin

  • By consequence, it is evident that supreme trial is an indispensability to the best development of either individuals or nations.

  • When will some profound writer give us an essay on the Indispensability of the Superfluous?

    A Top-Floor Idyl

    George van Schaick

British Dictionary definitions for indispensability


  1. absolutely necessary; essential
  2. not to be disregarded or escapedan indispensable role
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  1. an indispensable person or thing
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Derived Formsindispensability or indispensableness, nounindispensably, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for indispensability


1640s, from indispensable + -ity.

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1530s, from Medieval Latin indispensabilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + dispensabilis (see dispensable). Related: Indispensably.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper