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

And who better deserves to be there, but someone who is pleading with tears in his eyes? Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Our Very Favorite Moments From the Fall 2019 Collections," 12 Mar. 2019 News and Politics Drug abuse, teen pregnancy, suicide, bullying — 19-year-old Alexis Davis looked around her home on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota and felt her community deserved more. Teen Vogue, "The Turtle Mountain Youth Council is Helping Chippewa Teens Find Their Voices," 11 Mar. 2019 The source also stressed to ELLE.com, however, that Meghan acts as her own stylist and deserves full responsibility for her international trendsetter status as well as for her move to use fashion to promote issues that matter to her. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Turns to Kate Middleton for Style Advice," 8 Mar. 2019 Girls get a bad rap for being emotional/dramatic/extra/[insert annoying adjective here], but your opinions are legit and deserve to be heard. 14. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "17 Surprising Ways You've Internalized Misogyny," 8 Mar. 2019 Many of these species have a place in the home landscape, but the evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) deserves a spot at the center of any edible shade garden. Colin Mccrate, The Seattle Times, "Our native evergreen huckleberry brings dynamic color and oodles of fruit to your edible shade garden," 20 Feb. 2019 For instance, an allergic reaction involving swelling in your tongue and mouth can impact your breathing, which deserves emergency attention. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "When to Go to Urgent Care Vs. the ER," 16 Feb. 2019 People appreciate that nonhuman animals deserve our moral consideration too. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "2018’s big wins — and big losses — for animals," 24 Dec. 2018 The handcrafted cupboards are in One Kings Lane's new signature color, Hudson Green, which deserves to be the color of the year. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "You'll Want To Live In One Kings Lane's New Flagship Store," 2 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

16 Mar 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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the range of authority or knowledge

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