deserve

verb de·serve \ di-ˈzərv \

Definition of deserve

deserved; deserving
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

deserver

noun

Examples of deserve in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of deserve from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of deserve

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

deserve Synonyms

Synonyms
earn, merit, rate
Related Words
entitle, qualify


DESERVE Defined for Kids

deserve

verb de·serve \ di-ˈzərv \

Definition of deserve for Students

deserved; deserving
: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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