un·​de·​serv·​ing ˌən-di-ˈzər-viŋ How to pronounce undeserving (audio)
: not deserving: such as
: lacking merit : not worthy of praise, assistance, attention, etc.
selfish, undeserving people
The natural history of women's friendships is by no means a thin or undeserving subject.Barbara Kingsolver
: not deserving something specified
… circumstances of brutal outrage, of which poor Jean was in many respects wholly undeserving.Sir Walter Scott
I do not mean to say that medicine is blameless … or undeserving of criticism.Margaret Talbot
undeservingly adverb

Examples of undeserving in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The underlying justification for their mastery of this bountiful, beautiful semi-tropic place was the conviction that their predecessors — native Americans, Spanish, Mexican — were unappreciative and undeserving, unlike the grateful and energetic Yankee. Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2022 More undeserving teams making October. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 15 Sep. 2021 Scream 3 is often dealt a short shrift by series fans and critics alike, but the flack is largely undeserving. Declan Gallagher, EW.com, 11 Jan. 2023 As the commotion died down, the small riverside community seemed an undeserving, even senseless, target of Russian rockets, as there were no signs of Ukrainian troops in the area. David Guttenfelder Oleksandr Chubko, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2022 For Black Americans, who are often already stigmatized as unlovable and undeserving of care, our communities’ lack of expansive intimacy also reproduces the rejection and denial many of us experience in mass society. Dr. Jenn Jackson, Essence, 12 Dec. 2022 But our immigration system is built on a premise that they are undocumented and undeserving of citizenship status. . . . Teresa Mathew, The New Yorker, 22 June 2022 But with so many submissions (more than 800 in the drama supporting actor and actress categories alone!), the line between undeserving and unsung was thinner than ever. Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 Yet, these efforts are repeatedly countered by claims that those who need relief are ultimately undeserving. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1549, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of undeserving was in 1549

Dictionary Entries Near undeserving

Cite this Entry

“Undeserving.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undeserving. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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