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de·​serv·​ing di-ˈzər-viŋ How to pronounce deserving (audio)
: desert, merit
reward the proud according to their deservingsCharles Kingsley


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

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
It's remembered for Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs with a smile, but the whole movie has a naughtiness that's of a piece (and deserving of a rewatch). Joshua Rothkopf,, 24 Jan. 2024 And how telling that the accusation is the same one that rabid antisemites have been making for years: that the Jews are, and have long been, the real Nazis — guilty of humanity’s worst crimes and deserving of its worst punishments. Bret Stephens, The Mercury News, 19 Jan. 2024 And there just are not enough Nobel Prizes to go around to all the deserving. Jeffrey I. Seeman, The Conversation, 28 Sep. 2023 Kimberly Flynn, director of 9/11 Environmental Action, a nonprofit that guides survivors to access the available health programs, believes that the cumbersome paperwork and other requirements to qualify for care have blocked many of the deserving from signing on. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 26 July 2023 But while the Horned Frogs won't take anyone by surprise, several factors point to them remaining a factor in the Big 12 and deserving of a place in the Top 25. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2023 Sounds like a school deserving of one more walk down the Big 12 welcome mat. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 26 July 2023 Colorism, or color bias, is a system of inequality in which lighter skin on nonwhite people is considered more beautiful, socially acceptable and deserving of privileges often denied to people with darker skin. Char Adams, NBC News, 14 July 2023 Get a pair of Home Depot's 8-foot giant-sized stack of 10 glowing pumpkins, complete with LED lights ($199), and put them on either side of your front door for decor deserving of best in the neighborhood. Sharon Greenthal, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 July 2023
Regardless, in a year of style and strife, these 25 tastemakers are more deserving than ever. Carol McColgin, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Mar. 2024 Click through to read more about some things to know about sports betting as the tourneys open, with the men’s games starting Tuesday and the women’s competition beginning Wednesday. 11d ago / 1:33 PM PDT No team more deserving of a restful Sunday than N.C. Rebecca Cohen, NBC News, 18 Mar. 2024 Dunphy is completely deserving of this recognition. Heide Janssen, Orange County Register, 17 Mar. 2024 This hard-to-shake belief holds that female college graduates, female parents and female executives aren’t as deserving of income or career advancement as men are. Roxana Popescu, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Mar. 2024 Who Should Win at the Oscars THR’s awards expert Scott Feinberg and chief film critic David Rooney hash out the likely winners versus the most deserving ahead of Sunday’s show. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Mar. 2024 Notably, the film didn't secure nominations for Greta Gerwig in the directing category and Margot Robbie in a leading role, two notable snubs that some fans felt were more deserving than Ferrera, who had not been nominated for many major awards before the Oscars. Isabela Espadas Barros Leal, NBC News, 23 Jan. 2024 As both a designer and entrepreneur, Vitto seems an outstandingly deserving candidate for further consideration. Luke Leitch, Vogue, 2 Mar. 2024 And while Franklin’s introduction into the Peanuts universe will never be overlooked, this special honors the Armstrong family in such a deserving way. Tanay Howard, Parents, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deserving.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English deserving, deservinge, from gerund of deserven "to deserve"


from present participle of deserve

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near deserving

Cite this Entry

“Deserving.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: worthy entry 1 sense 2
especially : worthy of financial help
aid for deserving families

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