deserve

verb
de·​serve | \ di-ˈzərv How to pronounce deserve (audio) \
deserved; deserving

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 a worse punishment than he deserved

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Other Words from deserve

deserver noun

Synonyms for deserve

Synonyms

earn, merit, rate

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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.

Examples of deserve in a Sentence

the team really deserved that victory after the way they played

Recent Examples on the Web

New parents deserve nothing short of sweeping and massive policy change to ensure that they are protected and supported after welcoming a child. SELF, "Actually, Maternity Leave Is Not a Vacation," 20 Aug. 2019 Because there’s so many people that are deserving to be out. Kenneth E. Hartman, Harper's magazine, "Life after Life," 16 Sep. 2019 Your new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max deserves a dazzling new case. CNN Money, "Protect your iPhone 11 with these stylish and rugged cases," 16 Sep. 2019 Let’s face it: The Jaguars never deserved Jalen Ramsey. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "5 NFL contenders that should trade for Jalen Ramsey," 16 Sep. 2019 Their jobs serve their careers, and their careers serve their dreams, and one of Friends’ most treasured convictions is that ambition deserves its own happy ending. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "On Chandler Bing’s Job," 12 Sep. 2019 But does this nomadic people deserve its outsized reputation? Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Who were the ruthless warriors behind Attila the Hun?," 12 Sep. 2019 The innocent thousands who perished on that terrible day deserve to be remembered with honor and truth. John Mccain, Popular Mechanics, "John McCain: The 9/11 Conspiracy Myths and the Truth Under Attack," 10 Sep. 2019 But an outsider artist who created something as weirdly funky as Dolemite deserves a portrait to match. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Dolemite Is My Name': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deserve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deserve

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for deserve

Middle English, from Anglo-French deservir, from Latin deservire to devote oneself to, from de- + servire to serve

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Statistics for deserve

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deserve

The first known use of deserve was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for deserve

deserve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deserve

used to say that someone or something should or should not have or be given something often followed by to + verb

deserve

verb
de·​serve | \ di-ˈzərv How to pronounce deserve (audio) \
deserved; deserving

Kids Definition of deserve

: to have earned because of some act or quality

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More from Merriam-Webster on deserve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deserve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deserve

Spanish Central: Translation of deserve

Nglish: Translation of deserve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deserve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deserve

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