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

The comments made by these students were especially offensive and racist and deserve condemnation. al.com, "Hoover trying to end hate speech that disrupts school," 4 June 2019 No coaching staff, no group of girls, deserves this more. Matt Le Cren, Naperville Sun, "Back from the brink: Benet rallies for 2A state title in girls soccer after being 106 seconds away from defeat," 4 June 2019 Add some pitching because the hard work of Arenado and Story deserves it. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman vs. Kiz: How much would it cost the Rockies to trade for Marcus Stroman?," 3 June 2019 Use that fiery passion to vote instead of tweet, because 1) voting actually matters, and 2) Luke really doesn't deserve folks threatening to take away his country card. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'American Idol' Fans Ripped Judge Luke Bryan's Tweet to SHREDS After Last Night's Eliminations," 16 Apr. 2019 Jeff Bezos is at $164 billion because ... Does Jeff Bezos deserve $164 billion? Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 Capitalists believe that those who do well, deserve it. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Capitalism?," 7 Jan. 2019 Baby2Baby provides children ages 0-12 living in poverty with the necessities every child deserves. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Looking for a Family Home in California?," 5 May 2019 Her throbbing angry forehead vein alone deserves an Emmy nomination. refinery29.com, "This Is Keri Russell's Time To Shine — Welcome To The Russell-ution, Comrades," 13 July 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

8 Jun 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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