What does deserve mean?

Definitions for deserve

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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. White House:

    Admiral Jackson has been on the front lines of deadly combat and saved the lives of many others in service to this country, he's served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all. Admiral Jackson's record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what's needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve.

  2. Sadie Weiner:

    As a potential shutdown creeps closer, we will see if Sen. Toomey sticks with his votes to defund Planned Parenthood or if he is so scared about his re-election that he flip-flops in a panic, these ads will highlight that Sen. Toomey and extremists in Congress are playing a dangerous game, and Pennsylvania families deserve better.

  3. Loren Carter:

    It's unfair, he didn't deserve to die.

  4. Cathi Herrod:

    It doesn’t stop those topics from being addressed, but again when we talk sex education, when we talk parental notification, parents deserve the opportunity to make that decision to opt their students in to classroom discussion.

  5. Marquetta Williams:

    My husband was a good man, and he didn’t deserve to die this way, i just want justice for him.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for deserve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for deserve »


Find a translation for the deserve definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these deserve definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "deserve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 7 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/deserve>.

    Are we missing a good definition for deserve? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a pass to a receiver downfield from the passer
    • A. confectionery
    • B. odometer
    • C. transition
    • D. aerial

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for deserve: