Definition of worth adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//wɜːθ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɜːrθ//
    [not before noun] (used like a preposition, followed by a noun, pronoun or number, or by the -ing form of a verb)
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  1. 1  worth something having a value in money, etc. Our house is worth about £100 000. How much is this painting worth? to be worth a bomb/packet/fortune (= a lot of money) It isn't worth much. If you answer this question correctly, it's worth five points. Synonymspricecost 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 service:house prices How much are these? They 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 £80 000.value how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged:The winner will receive a prize to the value of £1 000. Especially in British English, value can also mean how much something is worth compared with its price:This restaurant is excellent value (= is worth the money it costs).price, cost or value?The price is what somebody 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 moving house The house now has a market value of one million pounds.expense the money that you spend on something; something that makes you spend money:The garden was transformed at great expense. Running a car is a big expense.worth the financial value of somebody/​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
  2. 2  used 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.
  3. 3  worth something/doing something important, good or enjoyable enough to make somebody 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
  4. 4worth something (of a person) having money and possessions of a particular value He's worth £10 million.
  5. Word OriginOld English w(e)orth (adjective and noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch waard and German wert.Extra examples It’s so unimportant it’s hardly worth mentioning. Most of the candidates were not considered worth interviewing. This book is well worth reading. This order is potentially worth millions of pounds to the company. It isn’t worth much. Our house is worth about $300 000. to be worth a bomb/​packet/​fortuneIdioms
    a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
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    (saying) 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 somebody/something She is milking her success for all it's worth.
    (informal) used to emphasize that what you are saying is only your own opinion or suggestion and may not be very helpful I prefer this colour, for what it's worth.
    more than your job’s worth (to do something)
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    (British English, informal) not worth doing because it is against the rules or because it might cause you to lose your job It's more than my job's worth to let you in without a ticket. see also jobsworth
    (the game is) not worth the candle
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    (old-fashioned, saying) the advantages to be gained from doing something are not great enough, considering the effort or cost involved If the price goes up again, he may decide that the game’s not worth the candle.
    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
    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 somebody 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 American Dictionary entry: worth