Word of the Day: worth

worth (preposition, noun) /wɝθ/ LISTEN

Worth means ‘good enough to justify something’ or, when speaking of an object, ‘having the value of’ or of a person ‘having property to the value of.’ As a noun, worth means ‘excellence’ or ‘use in relation to a specific purpose.’ Worth is also the value of something or a quantity of something expected for some value. It also means ‘wealth or possessions.’

Example Sentences

  • Jim doesn't always enjoy going to the gym, but he thinks it's worth it to stay fit.
  • My car is very old and isn't worth much anymore. If I'm lucky I might get $500 for it!
  • Judging from all their houses and cars, they must be worth millions.
  • The athlete has proved her worth.
  • Paul's boss appreciates his worth as an employee.
  • The jeweller estimated the worth of the antique ring.
  • Lisa put fifty dollars' worth of gas in her car.
  • The rock star's worth is estimated to be around $700 million.

Multi-word forms

for what it is worth: said when you are unsure how much value someone will attach to what you are saying. Example: “Your boyfriend broke up with you? Well, for what it’s worth, I think he’s an idiot!”

for all you are worth (or, for everything you’re worth): as much as possible or as hard as you can. Example: “When Imogen realized how late it was, she turned her bike around and pedalled for all she was worth to try to get home in time for dinner.”

Did you know?

The related adjective worthy can be used alone to mean that someone or something has worth or value. If you describe someone as worthy, it means you think that person is likely to be approved of by most other people. You can also use worthy with the preposition of to say that someone or something has enough worth to merit something, for example: “The hero’s actions were worthy of the highest honors the country could bestow upon him.”

Other forms

worthy (adjective), worthless (adjective), worthily (adverb)

Origin

Worth dates back to before 900; it first appears in Middle English and comes from the Old English word weorth or wurth; it is a cognate with the Old High German word werd (wert in German), the Old Norse word verthr, and the Gothic word wairths.

Worth was suggested by Paulo, from Portugal

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