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 With some faces more recognisable than others, here are six standout stars from 2019's AFCON, deserving of a move to join Mahrez and co. in the Premier League., "Africa Cup of Nations: 6 Standout Stars Who Deserve a Move to the Premier League," 15 July 2019 Needless to say, the designer has achieved a lot in the past 50 years, and is well-deserving of a new chapter. Sara Radin,, "Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Final Couture Show Featured A Very Canadian Cameo," 23 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For instance, older people with shorter life expectancy or those with severe dementia are often deemed less deserving of scarce medical resources than younger, healthier individuals. Amy Silverman, ProPublica, "People With Intellectual Disabilities May Be Denied Lifesaving Care Under These Plans as Coronavirus Spreads," 27 Mar. 2020 In the White House's daily coronavirus press briefing, Trump singled out the airline industry as most deserving of assistance but also mentioned other travel businesses. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Trump: 'Airlines would be No. 1' for coronavirus bailout," 19 Mar. 2020 The Oscar-winning star had taken a (deserving) two-year hiatus from acting—and threw a gorgeous wedding in the meantime—but has slowly been making her way back to major Hollywood projects. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Lawrence Is Finally Returning to Acting — On Netflix," 21 Feb. 2020 Out of all the West reserves, Lillard, a five-time all-star, was the most deserving as he's had a recent nine-game stretch of averaging 42.4 points a game. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Devin Booker selected to replace Damian Lillard in 2020 NBA All-Star Game," 13 Feb. 2020 Of all the gadgets smartphones usurped and sent to the grave, the alarm clock was among the first and most deserving. Matt Jancer, Wired, "The Best Sunrise Alarms to Help You Rise and Shine," 5 Feb. 2020 Filing a wage claim is partly about getting back lost wages, but also about seeing yourself as deserving of rights, protections and the dignity and respect of not being cheated. Carolyn Said,, "Uber, Lyft drivers tell state to enforce AB5, get us back wages," 4 Feb. 2020 The most inspiring and deserving of all of this recognition. Diane J. Cho,, "Who Is Finneas? Everything You Need to Know About Billie Eilish's Brother, a First-Time Grammy Nominee," 24 Jan. 2020 As a thank you to these supporters, SYF is once again helping a deserving graduating senior living near Houston pursue a college education. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Simon Youth Foundation accepts scholarship applications," 15 Jan. 2020

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

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deserving.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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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