un·​de·​serv·​ing | \ ˌən-di-ˈzər-viŋ How to pronounce undeserving (audio) \

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

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Other Words from undeserving

undeservingly adverb

Examples of undeserving in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web America has long used science and technology to categorize and differentiate people into hierarchies that, even today, determine who is able and unable, deserving and undeserving, legitimate and criminal. Malkia Devich-cyril, The Atlantic, "Defund Facial Recognition," 5 July 2020 Another subtle subtext of these proposals is that many recipients of the latest stimulus checks— up to $1,200 per adult in households earning up to $150,000 — are undeserving. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Republicans seek to exploit COVID-19 crisis to cut Social Security benefits," 11 May 2020 Marta, arguably an undeserving winner of the 2018 Best FIFA Women’s Player award for similar reasons, scored twice in the World Cup to extend her own all-time record. SI.com, "2 Players Who Shouldn’t Be on the 2019 Women’s Ballon d’Or Shortlist & 7 Others Who Can Feel Unlucky," 22 Oct. 2019 Stiglitz says a few simple rules can separate the deserving from the undeserving. Peter Coy, Bloomberg.com, "Stiglitz Calls for ‘Super Chapter 11’ to Avoid Systemic Collapse," 28 Apr. 2020 Multitudes in our cities have been lacking food and shelter, but they have been discounted as somehow undeserving. Popular Science, "Why we evolved to feel empathy during pandemics and other disasters," 28 Apr. 2020 This is the financial teaser at the heart of political questions such as whether airlines are victims of the pandemic or undeserving recipients of taxpayer money. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Don’t Try to Prepare for the Next Black Swan. You Can’t.," 24 Apr. 2020 Black people repeatedly demonstration an otherworldly beauty in the granting of grace to the undeserving. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, "Amber Guyger was hugged by her victim’s brother and a judge, igniting a debate about forgiveness and race," 3 Oct. 2019 Ben Goldey, a Gosar spokesman, told The Arizona Republic that Gosar took Pelosi's act of protest personally and that Pelosi is undeserving of the speaker's gavel. Katie Surma, azcentral, "Rep. Paul Gosar wants House Speaker Nancy Pelosi censured for ripping up Trump speech," 7 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of undeserving

1549, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for undeserving

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The first known use of undeserving was in 1549

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Statistics for undeserving

Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Undeserving.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undeserving. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for undeserving


How to pronounce undeserving (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of undeserving

: not having qualities that deserve praise, support, etc.
used to say that someone should not have or be given something + of

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More from Merriam-Webster on undeserving

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undeserving

Spanish Central: Translation of undeserving

Nglish: Translation of undeserving for Spanish Speakers

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