de·​serv·​ing | \ di-ˈzər-viŋ How to pronounce deserving (audio) \

Definition of deserving

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: desert, merit reward the proud according to their deservings— Charles Kingsley



Definition of deserving (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having good qualities that deserve praise, support, etc. : meritorious, worthy rewarding deserving workers scholarships for deserving students
2 : appropriately having or being given something specified used with ofa proposal deserving of support [=a proposal that deserves support]a criminal deserving of punishment

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Other Words from deserving


deservingly adverb
deservingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for deserving

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of deserving in a Sentence

Adjective He's a very deserving young man. The church provides aid to deserving families.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As noted by my colleague Matt Ford, the intentional destruction of such cultural sites would be a war crime deserving of impeachment and prosecution in the Hague, not that Trump much cares. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "America Has Never Cared About Sacred Sites," 8 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, Trubisky picked apart the Dallas defense, looking for the first time in three years like a quarterback deserving of being the No. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: As Dallas Cowboys' season unravels with loss to Chicago Bears, Jerry Jones needs to take blame," 6 Dec. 2019 Kanani: Grunts like a piggy (Photo: Alex DeForest/Arizona Humane Society) While every pet is special in their own way and deserving of love, some pets truly have an indescribable way of wiggling deep into everyone’s hearts. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "A dog that grunts like a piggy and more up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 13 Sep. 2019 The announcement has left his fans, his company, this city all reconciling the troubled present with a revered past deserving of celebration. Mark Swed,, "Commentary: Plácido Domingo had to go, but he still matters," 7 Oct. 2019 Both of Lindsay’s touchdowns were 1-yard rushes with his second score deserving of a detailed breakdown. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay provides offensive spark in loss at Green Bay," 22 Sep. 2019 While the ceremony was created to honor some of the best NBA players in the game, there were a handful of ladies present with hair and makeup deserving of praise. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "The Best Beauty Looks From The 2019 NBA Awards," 25 June 2019 That’s a question deserving of a review by the state’s legislative inspector general. Kristen Mcqueary,, "Ties between lawmakers and the gambling industry? The IG should investigate.," 3 June 2019 Systemically, white women are seen as deserving of protection, whereas Black women are not. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "R. Kelly Docuseries Reminds Us That Not All Stories of Sexual Assault Are Treated Equally," 11 Jan. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Eli is definitely more deserving of a spot on this list given his heroics in twice winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the New York Giants with some truly miraculous plays in upsets of the Patriots. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "The 54 greatest players in Super Bowl history: How high do 49ers legend rank?," 24 Jan. 2020 Former Raiders coach Tom Flores, who won two Super Bowls, is more deserving . . Ben Volin,, "Everything you need to know about the conference championship games," 18 Jan. 2020 This is not to say that one is automatically more deserving of votes than another in any of these examples. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Thoughts about the Eclipse Awards process," 11 Jan. 2020 Still, none of the recordings nominated for album of the year in 1982 felt completely deserving. Chris Richards, Anchorage Daily News, "Setting the records straight: A do-over for the Grammys’ album of the year," 27 Jan. 2018 Gwen was truly a national treasure, and so richly deserving of today’s honor. NBC News, "Influential journalist Gwen Ifill honored with USPS stamp," 31 Jan. 2020 La-Z-Boy will bestow three awards, one per season, to deserving athletic departments in need of support for anything from uniforms and equipment to tournament travel and fees. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "La-Z-Boy donates $2,500 to Apollo High School football program," 30 Jan. 2020 God gave victory to the deserving, while defeat and death were the punishments for sin and lack of faith. Robert Irwin, The New York Review of Books, "Whose Crusades?," 28 Jan. 2020 The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled in 2014 that Guatemalan women with repressive male companions could count as a group deserving refugee status. The Economist, "Denying opportunities costs What America could lose by curtailing refugee resettlement," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deserving.' 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 deserving


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for deserving

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The first known use of deserving was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deserving.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for deserving



English Language Learners Definition of deserving

: having good qualities that deserve praise, support, etc.
used to say that someone or something should have or be given something + of


de·​serv·​ing | \ di-ˈzər-viŋ How to pronounce deserving (audio) \

Kids Definition of deserving

: worthy sense 2 The scholarship will go to a deserving student.

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