American English

Definition of worth adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [not before noun]
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  1. 1(used like a preposition, followed by a noun, pronoun, or number, or by the -ing form of a verb)
  2. 2worth something having a value in money, etc. Our house is worth about $100,000. How much is this painting worth? to be worth a fortune (= a lot of money) It isn't worth much. If you answer this question correctly, it's worth five points. Thesauruspricecost value expense worthThese words all refer to the amount of money that you have to pay for something.price the amount of money that you have to pay for an item or a service:house prices These shoes don't have a price on them. I can't afford it at that price.cost the amount of money that you need in order to buy, make, or do something:A new computer system has been installed at a cost of $180,000.value how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged:Sports cars tend to hold their value well. Value can also mean how much something is worth compared with its price:This restaurant is an excellent value (= is worth the money it costs).price, cost, or value?The price is what someone asks you to pay for an item or service:to ask/charge a high price to ask/charge a high cost/value. Obtaining or achieving something may have a cost; the value of something is how much other people would be willing to pay for it:house prices the cost of changing jobs The house now has a market value of one million dollars.expense the money that you spend on something; something that makes you spend money:The garden was expanded at great expense. Owning a car is a major expense.worth the financial value of someone or something:He has a personal net worth of $10 million. Worth is more often used to mean the practical or moral value of something.Patterns the high price/cost/value the real/true price/cost/value/worth to put/set a price/value >on>something to increase/reduce the price/cost/value/expense to raise/double/lower the price/cost/value to cut the price/cost
  3. 3used to recommend the action mentioned because you think it may be useful, enjoyable, etc. worth something The museum is certainly worth a visit. worth doing something This idea is well worth considering. It's worth making an appointment before you go.
  4. 4worth something/doing something important, good, or enjoyable enough to make someone feel satisfied, especially when difficulty or effort is involved Was it worth the effort? The new house really wasn't worth all the expense involved. The job involves a lot of hard work but it's worth it. The trip was expensive but it was worth every penny. see also worthwhile
  5. 5worth something (of a person) having money and possessions of a particular value He's worth $10 million.
  6. Idioms
    a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (saying)
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    it is better to keep something that you already have than to risk losing it by trying to get much more
      for all somebody/it is worth
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    1. 1with great energy, effort, and determination He was rowing for all he was worth.
    2. 2in order to get as much as you can from someone or something She is milking her success for all it's worth.
    for what it's worth (informal)
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    used to emphasize that what you are saying is only your own opinion or suggestion and may not be very helpful I prefer this color, for what it's worth.
    not worth the paper it's written/printed on
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    (of an agreement or official document) having no value, especially legally, or because one of the people involved has no intention of doing what they said they would
    worth your/its salt
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    deserving respect, especially because you do your job well Any teacher worth her salt knows that.
    worth your/its weight in gold
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    very useful or valuable A good mechanic is worth his weight in gold.
    worth somebody's while
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    interesting or useful for someone to do It will be worth your while to come to the meeting. He'll do the job if you make it worth his while (= pay him well).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: worth