undeserving

adjective
un·​de·​serv·​ing | \ˌən-di-ˈzər-viŋ \

Definition of undeserving 

: not deserving: such as

a : 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

b : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from undeserving

undeservingly adverb

Examples of undeserving in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After 12 years of what some consider undeserving discredit, scientists are now re-claiming Pluto as a planet. Janay Moore, Teen Vogue, "Pluto Should Be a Planet Again According to These Scientists," 11 Sep. 2018 Neither of those two deserves to be sent to the minors, but that happens often to the undeserving. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Growing group believes Beltre would nix a trade," 1 July 2018 Leroy Sane's was the most stunning, and Mauro Icardi's is the most undeserving given his co-golden-boot-winning season in Serie A. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "World Cup Crystal Ball: Russia 2018's Dark Horse, Breakout Star, Golden Boot and More," 5 June 2018 Annoyed by phonies and undeserving hipsters, Mike meanders through a Pacific Northwest inhabited by hardworking homesick immigrants, waitresses doing double shifts and Native American blackjack dealers with scars and rumpled uniforms. Helene Stapinski, New York Times, "Jungle Mold, Ornithology and Lawn Care: 3 New Novels Find Hilarity in Unexpected Places," 1 June 2018 And whereas mental illness may sometimes be a mitigating factor in sentencing, even when a person is responsible for a crime, Carro decided Ortega’s resistance to treatment and unwillingness to admit culpability render her undeserving of lenience. Maureen O'connor, The Cut, "Sentenced to Life in Prison, the Nanny Sobs (for Herself)," 14 May 2018 Martin Gilens, a political scientist at Princeton University, has shown that antipathy towards welfare in the 1990s was driven by hostile attitudes toward blacks, who were thought of as lazy and undeserving. The Economist, "How the Trump administration is reshaping Medicaid," 17 May 2018 That's not to say its recent laureates are undeserving — OK, maybe not Elfriede Jelinek or (forgive me) Bob Dylan — but then, this raises the question of what deserving means. David L. Ulin, latimes.com, "There will be no Nobel Prize in literature this year. And that's a shame.," 11 May 2018 Work for welfare is now an old idea, rooted in the conviction that people become poor due to some personal failing, and are thus undeserving of government aid. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Perpetuating the Cycle of Poverty," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undeserving.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of undeserving

1549, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undeserving

Share undeserving

Statistics for undeserving

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for undeserving

The first known use of undeserving was in 1549

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on undeserving

Spanish Central: Translation of undeserving

Nglish: Translation of undeserving for Spanish Speakers

Comments on undeserving

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

WORD OF THE DAY

playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!