deserve

verb
de·​serve | \ di-ˈzərv \
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

And those journalists deserve to be heralded — just not in this holier-than-thou cinematic cri de coeur. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Liberal outrage in Rob Reiner's 'Shock and Awe'," 12 July 2018 Since arriving, Asuaje has played like someone who deserves to be here and to be playing. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres notes: Carlos Asuaje's positive effect; injury updates," 6 July 2018 There is something about market pessimism that endows bears with an aura of wisdom that is not always deserved. The Economist, "Even stockmarket bulls are more cautious than at the start of the year," 12 July 2018 Competing epidemics The opioid epidemic, of course, deserves attention. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Meth, ‘the Devil’s drug,’ is back and killing more people than ever," 4 July 2018 Meanwhile, Serena herself made sure that Osaka still enjoyed her well-deserved victory during the somewhat awkward post-match trophy ceremony. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Women's Tennis Association Backs Serena Williams Over That Sexist U.S. Open Penalty," 10 Sep. 2018 Taxpayers deserve answers about a guy no one had heard of before Pastor's photo started popping up on billboards all around town weeks before the November election. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Time's up for Jeff Pastor's campaign finance report. Is an investigation coming?," 11 July 2018 Austin Bibens-Dirkx, optioned to the minors Monday, deserves to be in this starting rotation. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: How the rotation could become even more jumbled by Aug. 1," 10 July 2018 Photo: Aditya Irawan/NurPhoto/Zuma Press Governments say the countries deserve more of the profits from the extraction of their resources. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Countries Push to Extract More Cash from Big Mining Companies," 18 Nov. 2018

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

19 Jan 2019

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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
de·​serve | \ di-ˈzərv \
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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