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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

Examples from the Web for indispensably

Historical Examples

  • But “a bill of rights,” he declared, is “indispensably necessary.”

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

  • Such an exposition is at this time most indispensably needed.

    The Philippine Islands

    Ramon Reyes Lala

  • No item, except such as was indispensably necessary, was granted.

  • In the formation of character, it is indispensably requisite.

  • I asked, however, only for such things as were indispensably necessary.

    In the Arctic Seas

    Francis Leopold McClintock

British Dictionary definitions for indispensably


  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 indispensably



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