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 of a 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

good, meritorious, worthy

Antonyms: Adjective

no-good, undeserving, valueless, worthless

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Examples of deserving in a Sentence


He's a very deserving young man. The church provides aid to deserving families.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Having individual agency is strongly connected to the idea of a meritocracy, where the deserving are granted rewards. Jennifer Victor, Vox, "What good are elections, anyway?," 30 Oct. 2018 Although there is no doubt that both leading ladies are plenty deserving of the Emmy, many people were disappointed that Sandra didn't win. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Sandra Oh Didn't Win an Emmy Award Last Night and People Are Furious," 18 Sep. 2018 The Massachusetts bill signing had all the pomp deserving of a major piece of legislation. Joshua Miller,, "One thing missing from the ‘grand bargain’ bill signing? The grand bargainers," 28 June 2018 Whatever Bowen has done, and whatever infractions may have been committed during his recruitment, college basketball players are as deserving of due process as any other citizen. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA makes Brian Bowen seem a victim | Tim Sullivan," 30 May 2018 Supporters of Trump's efforts to crack down on would-be refugees agree that some are deserving of American goodwill. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Fewer Americans believe U.S. should accept refugees," 24 May 2018 His fever was now a hundred and three, and he was badly dehydrated, so Brother Infirmarian, against his instincts and principles, admitted him as a patient deserving of antibiotics and his devoted attention. John L’heureux, The New Yorker, "The Long Black Line," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In response, the National Funeral Directors Code of Professional Conduct holds up people with limited financial means as especially deserving of care and concern. Anna Lauren Hoffmann, Quartz, "The language we use to describe data can also help us fix its problems," 18 June 2019 The club foundation also distributes $40,000 to $50,000 annually in the form of grants to deserving organizations throughout the community. James Kaspar, Pomerado News, "Rancho Bernardo Rotarians award $12K in scholarships," 6 June 2019 The three girls and robot literally crash into Catherine's presentation of the hologram to investors, with the police in tow, and Ashley flips the bird to her deserving aunt. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The Miley Cyrus 'Black Mirror' episode is Hannah Montana gone mad," 5 June 2019 Howie Mandel has pushed his Golden Buzzer for a deserving and hard-working singer/songwriter. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Why Howie Mandel Gave His AGT Golden Buzzer to Singer Joseph Allen: 'I Was Waiting for an Inexplicable Moment'," 4 June 2019 Get tickets Turner, of course,stars in the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones as the only deserving contender for the Iron Throne Sansa Stark. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner and Richard Madden Reunited at the Met Gala and My Heart Is So Full," 7 May 2019 Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett is one of seven deserving first-time Major League Baseball All-Stars, according to USA TODAY Sports' Scott Boeck. Dave Clark,, "USA TODAY: Scooter Gennett should be first-time All-Star," 8 June 2018 There is no one more deserving of this Lifetime Achievement award more than you. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Love Letters for Narciso: Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, and More Pen Odes to the Beloved Designer," 29 May 2018 Boring, stupid, and unintentionally funny, there are many, many others films more deserving of your time. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Sci-Fi Films of the Year," 20 Dec. 2017

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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Statistics for deserving

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for deserving

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

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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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Comments on deserving

What made you want to look up deserving? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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