un·​wor·​thy | \ ˌən-ˈwər-t͟hē How to pronounce unworthy (audio) \

Definition of unworthy

1a : lacking in excellence or value : poor, worthless
2 : not meritorious : undeserving unworthy of attention
3 : not deserved : unmerited unworthy treatment
4 : inappropriate to one's condition or station actions unworthy of a gentleman

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Other Words from unworthy

unworthily \ ˌən-​ˈwər-​t͟hə-​lē How to pronounce unworthy (audio) \ adverb
unworthiness \ ˌən-​ˈwər-​t͟hē-​nəs How to pronounce unworthy (audio) \ noun

Examples of unworthy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Far too often, they are seen as dangerous targets unworthy of equal respect or protection. David Feingold, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: To end poverty and overcome racism, America needs a new Marshall Plan," 9 Apr. 2021 Sam gives up the shield, feeling unworthy of it, then heads home to Louisiana to argue with his sister Sarah about whether to sell their parents’ fishing boat and house. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Premiere Recap: A Broken World," 19 Mar. 2021 What would an omnibus bill be without handouts to unworthy causes, starting with the people who wrote the bill? The Editors, National Review, "H.R. 1 Is a Partisan Assault on American Democracy," 8 Mar. 2021 Again and again, Hollywood has deemed their work unworthy of accolades. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Invisible Stars of Asian Movies," 3 Mar. 2021 Sometimes a contemporary work is available, but that’s because the author has protected the rights, believing that movies are stupid and unworthy of literature. Los Angeles Times, "Struggling to find a story idea, Lee Isaac Chung received mystical guidance. Really," 22 Feb. 2021 Lord is a petty villain who feels unworthy of Wonder Woman’s attention — even when the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Review: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is a dismal step backward for DC’s iconic superheroine," 25 Dec. 2020 Looking for an unworthy, unlikely source of inspiration back in 1992, my attention fell on the bright colors and fanciful shapes of snack food. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "McNay must-sees: Infinity room, cheese doodle sculpture included in new exhibit at San Antonio museum," 3 Mar. 2021 The list of conditions is comprehensive and makes sense in isolation, it is also marked by an unworthy timidity and lack of concrete solutions. Vipin Bharathan, Forbes, "Analysis Of A Fed Note: On Preconditions For A General-Purpose Central Bank Digital Currency," 1 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unworthy.' 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 unworthy

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for unworthy

Time Traveler

The first known use of unworthy was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unworthy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unworthy. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unworthy



English Language Learners Definition of unworthy

: not good enough to deserve something or someone : not worthy
: not appropriate or acceptable for a good or respected person


un·​wor·​thy | \ ˌən-ˈwər-t͟hē How to pronounce unworthy (audio) \
unworthier; unworthiest

Kids Definition of unworthy

1 : not deserving someone or something He's unworthy of such praise.
2 : not appropriate for a particular kind of person or thing That behavior is unworthy of you.

Other Words from unworthy

unworthiness \ -​t͟hē-​nəs \ noun



Legal Definition of unworthy

: not meritorious specifically, in the civil law of Louisiana : being or relating to an heir who is deprived of the right to inherit from a person because of a failure in a duty towards the person

Other Words from unworthy

unworthiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unworthy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unworthy

Nglish: Translation of unworthy for Spanish Speakers

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