verb de·serve \di-ˈzərv\

Definition of DESERVE

transitive verb
:  to be worthy of :  merit <deserves another chance>
intransitive verb
:  to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital <have become recognized as they deserve — T. S. Eliot>
de·serv·er noun

Examples of DESERVE

  1. <the team really deserved that victory after the way they played>

Origin of DESERVE

Middle English, from Anglo-French deservir, from Latin deservire to devote oneself to, from de- + servire to serve
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to DESERVE

DESERVE Defined for Kids


verb de·serve \di-ˈzərv\

Definition of DESERVE for Kids

:  to have earned because of some act or quality

Synonym Discussion of DESERVE

deserve, merit, and earn mean to be worthy of something. deserve is used when a person should rightly receive something good or bad because of his or her actions or character. <A hard worker deserves to be rewarded.> merit is used when someone or something is especially worthy of reward, punishment, or consideration. <These students merit special praise.> earn is used when a person has spent time and effort and gets what he or she deserves. <You've earned a long vacation.>


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