sentimental value

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the value of an article in terms of its sentimental associations for a particular person
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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


What does sentimental value mean?

Sentimental value is value based on associations with fond memories or loved ones.

The word sentimental means expressing or appealing to sensitive or tender emotions, such as love and nostalgia.

Sentimental value is personal—it’s entirely based on your connection with the item. A thing might have sentimental value to you because it was given to you by someone you love or because you acquired it at an important time in your life.

Things with sentimental value may or may not have monetary value. The term sentimental value is perhaps most commonly used to contrast with monetary value, as in This pen isn’t worth anything, but it has a lot of sentimental value to me. 

Even if something does have a lot of monetary value, it’s sentimental value usually outweighs it, as in This car is worth $1 million, but it’s sentimental value is far greater—I fixed it up with my mom and I wouldn’t sell it for any amount. 

Example: I keep all of my childhood toys due to their sentimental value—they’re not collector’s items or anything.

Where does sentimental value come from?

The term sentimental value has been used since at least the late 1800s. The word sentiment is first recorded in the 1300s and comes from the Latin verb sentī(re), meaning “to feel.”

The sentimental value of a thing is based on how you feel about it, or how it makes you feel. Holding your first stuffed animal might make you feel nostalgic for your childhood. Using the same tools that your grandfather used to use might bring back fond memories of him. These are the kinds of feelings that give things sentimental value and make you want to keep them.

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What are some words that share a root or word element with sentimental value

What are some words that often get used in discussing sentimental value?

How is sentimental value used in real life?

Sentimental value is used in the context of people’s prized possessions—not the ones that are worth the most, but the ones that mean the most to them.


Try using sentimental value!

Which of the following items is likely to have sentimental value to a person?

A. their father’s fishing pole
B. a card their daughter made them
C. the first necklace they ever bought
D. all of the above

How to use sentimental value in a sentence