Valuable vs. invaluable



Is something worth more if it is valuable or invaluable? This is another pair of words that seem to be opposites, yet I think they are similar in meaning.



Something valuable has considerable monetary or material value, such as a valuable diamond, or, is of great importance, use, or service, such as valuable advice, according to The American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language (Houghton Mifflin, 1996). Something invaluable is "of inestimable value; priceless," such as "invaluable paintings; invaluable help."

So, invaluable appears to have more than monetary value—it's beyond monetary value, although something invaluable like a famous diamond may also be highly valuable.

Old family pictures are sometimes described as invaluable; certainly they have no monetary value.

If you are an entrepreneur, you want the most valuable real estate, the most valuable precious stones, the most valuable employees and the most valuable information.

The employees and the information could even be invaluable, if they are worth so much to you that you would pay almost any price for them.

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