See more synonyms for worth on Thesaurus.com
  1. good or important enough to justify (what is specified): advice worth taking; a place worth visiting.
  2. having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money: This vase is worth 12 dollars.
  3. having property to the value or amount of: They are worth millions.
  1. excellence of character or quality as commanding esteem: women of worth.
  2. usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for a purpose: Your worth to the world is inestimable.
  3. value, as in money.
  4. a quantity of something of a specified value: ten cents' worth of candy.
  5. wealth; riches; property or possessions: net worth.
  1. for all one is worth, Informal. to the utmost: He ran for all he was worth.
  2. for what it’s worth, whether or not (what is stated) is useful or important enough to justify: For what it’s worth, I think you should apologize to him.

Origin of worth

before 900; Middle English; Old English weorth, wurth; cognate with Old High German werd (German wert), Old Norse verthr, Gothic wairths

Synonym study

4. See desert. 6. See value.


verb (used without object) Archaic.
  1. to happen or betide: woe worth the day.

Origin of worth

before 900; Middle English worthen, Old English wurthan, weorthan; cognate with German werden, Old Norse vertha, Gothic wairthan to become, Latin vertere to turn (see verse)


  1. a town in NE Illinois.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for worth


adjective (governing a noun with prepositional force)
  1. worthy of; meriting or justifyingit's not worth discussing; an idea worth some thought
  2. having a value ofthe book is worth 30 pounds
  3. for all one is worth to the utmost; to the full extent of one's powers or ability
  4. worth one's weight in gold extremely helpful, kind, etc
  1. high quality; excellence
  2. value, price
  3. the amount or quantity of something of a specified valuefive pounds worth of petrol

Word Origin for worth

Old English weorth; related to Old Saxon, Old High German werth (German Wert), Old Norse verthr, Gothic wairths


  1. (intr) archaic to happen or betide (esp in the phrase woe worth the day)

Word Origin for worth

Old English weorthan; related to Old Frisian wertha, Old Saxon, Old High German werthan (German werden), Old Norse vertha, Gothic wairthan, Latin vertere to turn


  1. Charles Frederick. 1825–95, English couturier, who founded Parisian haute couture
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 worth

Old English weorþ "significant, valuable, of value; valued, appreciated, highly thought-of, deserving, meriting; honorable, noble, of high rank; suitable for, proper, fit, capable," from Proto-Germanic *werthaz "toward, opposite," hence "equivalent, worth" (cf. Old Frisian werth, Old Norse verðr, Dutch waard, Old High German werd, German wert, Gothic wairþs "worth, worthy"), perhaps a derivative of PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Old Church Slavonic vredu, Lithuanian vertas "worth" are Germanic loan-words. From c.1200 as "equivalent to, of the value of, valued at; having importance equal to; equal in power to."


"to come to be," now chiefly, if not solely, in the archaic expression woe worth the day, present subjunctive of Old English weorðan "to become, be, to befall," from Proto-Germanic *werthan "to become" (cf. Old Saxon, Old Dutch werthan, Old Norse verða, Old Frisian wertha, Old High German werdan, German werden, Gothic wairþan "to become"), literally "to turn into," from Proto-Germanic *werthaz "toward, opposite," perhaps a derivative of PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus).


Old English weorþ "value, price, price paid; worth, worthiness, merit; equivalent value amount, monetary value," from worth (adj.). From c.1200 as "excellence, nobility."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with worth


In addition to the idioms beginning with worth

  • worth one's weight in gold
  • worth one's while
  • worthy of the name

also see:

  • for all one is worth
  • game is not worth the candle
  • get one's money's worth
  • not worth a damn
  • picture is worth a thousand words
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.