Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of deserve
Meaning of deserve by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Old French deservir, from Latin dēservīre, from de- + servīre .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /dɪˈzɜː( ɹ )v/
    • ( US ) IPA: /dɪˈzəɹv/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː( r )v


    deserve ( third-person singular simple present deserves present participle deserving, simple past and past participle deserved )

    1. To be entitled to, as a result of past actions; to be worthy to have .
      After playing so well, the team really deserved their win .
      After what he did, he deserved to go to prison .
      This argument deserves a closer examination .
    2. ( obsolete ) To earn, win.
    3. ( obsolete ) To reward, to give in return for service.
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VIII:
        ‘Grauntemercy,’ seyde the Kynge. ‘And I lyve, Sir Lambegus, I shall deserve hit.’


    Usage notes

    Related terms

    External links

    • deserve in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • deserve in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911


Explanation of deserve by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be worthy or deserving

    2. You deserve a promotion after all the hard work you have done

    Definition of deserve by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Deserve ( dezẽrv ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deserved ; p. pr. & vb. n. Deserving.] [OF. deservir, desservir, to merit, L. deservire to serve zealously, be devoted to; de- + servire to serve. See Serve.]
      1. To earn by service; to be worthy of ( something due, either good or evil ); to merit; to be entitled to; as, “the laborer deserves his wages; a work of value deserves praise.”

      God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. Job xi. 6.

      John Gay deserved to be a favorite. Thackeray.

      Encouragement is not held out to things that deserve reprehension. Burke.

      2. To serve; to treat; to benefit. [Obs.]

      A man that hath

      So well deserved me. Massinger.

    2. deserve ( dezẽrv ), v. i. To be worthy of recompense; -- usually with ill or with well.

      One man may merit or deserve of another. South.