Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To befall; betide.
  • noun The quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable.
  • noun Material or market value.
  • noun A quantity of something that may be purchased for a specified sum or by a specified means.
  • noun Wealth; riches.
  • noun Quality that commands esteem or respect; merit.
  • adjective Equal in value to something specified.
  • adjective Deserving of; meriting.
  • adjective Having wealth or riches amounting to.
  • idiom (for all (one) is worth) To the utmost of one's powers or ability.
  • idiom (for what it's worth) Even though it may not be important or valuable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be or become.
  • To happen; betide: now used only in the archaic imprecative phrases woe worth the day, the man, etc., in which worth is equivalent to be to, and the noun is in the dative.
  • Worthy; honorable; esteemed; estimable.
  • Having worth, esteem, or value in a given degree; representing a relative or comparative worth (of): used generally with a noun of measurement dependent directly upon it without a preposition.
  • Specifically
  • Having a specified value in money or exchange; representing under fair conditions a price or cost (of); equivalent in value to: expressing either actual market value, or value obtainable under favorable or just conditions.
  • Possessed of; having estate to the value of; possessing: as, a man worth five millions.
  • Having a specified moral value or importance; estimable or esteemed in a given way; reaching a certain grade of excellence.
  • Entitled to, by reason of excellence, importance, etc.; meriting; deserving: having the same construction as in sense 2: as, the castle is worth defending; the matter is not worth notice.
  • noun l. Honor; dignity.
  • noun Worthiness; excellence of character; excellency; merit; desert: as, a man of great worth.
  • noun Value; importance; excellence; valuable or desirable qualities: said of things.
  • noun Value, especially as expressed in terms of some standard of equivalency or exchange: as, what is his house worth? the worth of a commodity is usually the price it will bring in market, but price is not always worth.
  • noun That which one is worth; possessions; substance; wealth; riches.
  • noun =Syn.2 and Merit, etc. See desert. Value, Cost, etc. See price.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be; to become; to betide; -- now used only in the phrases, woe worth the day, woe worth the man, etc., in which the verb is in the imperative, and the nouns day, man, etc., are in the dative. Woe be to the day, woe be to the man, etc., are equivalent phrases.
  • noun That quality of a thing which renders it valuable or useful; sum of valuable qualities which render anything useful and sought; value; hence, often, value as expressed in a standard, as money; equivalent in exchange; price.
  • noun Value in respect of moral or personal qualities; excellence; virtue; eminence; desert; merit; usefulness.
  • adjective obsolete Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while.
  • adjective Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to be exchanged for.
  • adjective Deserving of; -- in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a good sense.
  • adjective Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to the value of.
  • adjective See under While, n.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete, except in set phrases To be, become, betide.
  • adjective Having a value of; proper to be exchanged for.
  • adjective Deserving of.
  • adjective obsolete, except in Scots Valuable, worth while.
  • adjective Making a fair equivalent of, repaying or compensating.
  • noun countable Value.
  • noun uncountable Merit, excellence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun French couturier (born in England) regarded as the founder of Parisian haute couture; noted for introducing the bustle (1825-1895)
  • noun the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful
  • noun an indefinite quantity of something having a specified value
  • adjective having a specified value
  • adjective worthy of being treated in a particular way

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English worthen, from Old English weorthan; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English weorth; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English weorþan, from Proto-Germanic *werþanan, from Proto-Indo-European *wert-. Cognate with Dutch worden, German werden, Old Norse verða (Norwegian verta, Swedish varda), Latin vertere.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From worth or wurth, from Old English weorþ, from Proto-Germanic *werþaz (“towards, opposite”) (the noun developing from the adjective). Cognate with German wert/Wert, Dutch waard ("adjective"), Swedish värd.

Examples

    Sorry, no example sentences found.

Comments

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  • A syntactically highly unusual adjective in that it takes a noun phrase as a complement, as in 'worth £1000'. The very fact that it does suggests it is actually a preposition.

    Two pieces of evidence against its being a preposition:

    Heading a preposed adjunct, it needs to be predicated of the subject of the following clause:

    * Worth a million bucks, the good times were set to roll.

    (cf. With a million bucks in our pocket, the good times were set to roll. - Prepositions can do this, adjectives can't.)

    It can't be fronted (pied-piped) along with a relative pronoun:

    This was less than the amount which she thought the land was worth.

    * This was less than the amount worth which she thought the land was.

    July 12, 2009