Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Wert





  1. (archaic) second-person singular simple past subjunctive of be
    If thou wert mine, I would be in heaven!
    • 1611, The Bible, King James (Authorised) Version, (first & last usages),
      Job 8:6 "If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, ..."
      Revelation 3:15 "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot."
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, To A Skylark, (first two lines of ode),
      "Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert, ..."


  • (second-person singular, modern) were (used with "you")


  • wert” in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
  • wert” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.

See also[edit]




From Middle High German wert, akin to Old Saxon werth. See the English cognate worth for more.


  • IPA(key): /veːɐ̯t/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /vɛɐ̯t/ (equally common)


wert (comparative werter, superlative am wertesten)

  1. (with accusative) worth something, worthy of something
    Das ist die Mühe nicht wert. – “That's not worth the effort.”
    Der Wein ist seinen Preis wert. – “The wine is worth its price.”
    Er ist die ganze Aufmerksamkeit nicht wert, die er bekommt.
    “He's not worthy of all the attention he gets.”
  2. (formal) dear
    Werte Gäste, ... – “Dear guests, ...”

Usage notes[edit]

  • In older usage, wert was construed with a genitive object: Das ist der Mühe nicht wert. This is now archaic, except in fixed expressions. For example: Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt, ist des Talers nicht wert. — “Who doesn't honour the penny, isn't worthy of the dollar.” (A saying quivalent to “A penny saved is a penny earned”.)
  • The accusative case generally sounds awkward with personal pronouns. In this context the genitive is still in some use, albeit only in formal style. In normal usage one would prefer to rephrase. For example: Das ist meiner nicht wert (“That's not worthy of me.”) is more readily replaced with: Das ist unter meiner Würde. (“That's below my dignity.”)


Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]

  • wert in Duden online




  1. descendence