What does deserve mean?

Definitions for deserve

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word deserve.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. deserve, meritverb

    be worthy or deserving

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


  1. deserveverb

    To be entitled to, as a result of past actions; to be worthy to have.

  2. deserveverb

    To earn, win.

  3. deserveverb

    To reward, to give in return for service.

  4. Etymology: From deservir, from deservire, from de- + servire.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DESERVEverb

    Etymology: deservir, French.

    Those they honoured, as having power to work or cease, as men deserved of them. Richard Hooker, b. i.

    Some of us love you well; and ev’n those some
    Envy your great deservings, and good name. William Shakespeare, Hen. IV.

    All friends shall taste
    The wages of their virtue, and all foes
    The cup of their deservings. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    What he deserves of you and me I know. William Shakespeare, H. VIII.

    Yet well, if here would end
    The misery: I deserv’d it, and would bear
    My own deservings. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. l. 727.

    Courts are the places where best manners flourish,
    Where the deserving ought to rise. Thomas Otway, Orphan.

    A mother cannot give him death; though he
    Deserves it, he deserves it not from me. John Dryden, Ovid.

    Since my Orazia’s death I have not seen
    A beauty so deserving to be queen,

    He had been a person of great deservings from the republick, was an admirable speaker, and very popular. Jonathan Swift.

    According to the rule of natural justice one man may merit and deserve of another. Robert South, Sermons.


  1. deserve

    Desert () in philosophy is the condition of being deserving of something, whether good or bad. It is sometimes called moral desert to clarify the intended usage and distinguish it from the dry desert biome. It is a concept often associated with justice: that good deeds should be rewarded and evil deeds punished.


  1. deserve

    Deserve generally refers to being worthy or entitled to something based on one's actions, qualities, or circumstances. It implies that an individual has earned or is deserving of a particular treatment, reward, or outcome.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Deserveverb

    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

  2. Deserveverb

    to serve; to treat; to benefit

  3. Deserveverb

    to be worthy of recompense; -- usually with ill or with well

  4. Etymology: [OF. deservir, desservir, to merit, L. deservire to serve zealously, be devoted to; de- + servire to serve. See Serve.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Deserve

    de-zėrv′, v.t. to earn by service: to merit.—v.i. to be worthy of reward.—adj. Deserv′ing, worthy.—n. desert.—advs. Deserv′ingly, Deserv′edly, according to desert: justly. [Fr.,—L. deservīrede, inten., servīre, to serve.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'deserve' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4748

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'deserve' in Verbs Frequency: #557

How to pronounce deserve?

How to say deserve in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of deserve in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of deserve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of deserve in a Sentence

  1. Robert Frost:

    You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's.

  2. Eric Adams:

    Our cities are being undermined. And we do n’t deserve this. Migrants do n’t deserve this. And people who live in the cities do n’t deserve this, we expect more from our national leaders to address this issue in a real way.

  3. Kendall Smith:

    My brothers don’t deserve this, my sister don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this, she didn’t deserve that, i’m terribly angry about it. I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that to my mom… She always had a good heart, wanted the best for everybody.

  4. Keinon Carter:

    I believe victims of the Pulse shooting deserve better, we deserve better security protection than what was provided. We deserve to be rescued sooner by law enforcement officers who made strategic decisions to wait.

  5. William Swor:

    I'm sorry most of all that I let William Swor down. William Swor deserve better. William Swor deserve accountability. William Swor deserve to know that the buck stops here with me.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for deserve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"deserve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/deserve>.

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    given to or marked by the consumption of alcohol
    • A. askant
    • B. bibulous
    • C. sesquipedalian
    • D. lank

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