From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English deserven, from Old French deservir, from Latin dēserviō, from dē- + serviō.



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

  1. (transitive) 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.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Job 11:6:
      God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
    • 1853, William Makepeace Thackeray, The English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century:
      John Gay deserved to be a favourite.
    • 1967, The Pacific Reporter, page 510:
      the grantees named in the questioned deed executed by their father richly deserved receiving the family home.
    • 2008, Michael Walzer, Spheres Of Justice: A Defense Of Pluralism And Equality, page 24:
      Perhaps they do, but they don't deserve that the rest of us contribute money or appropriate public funds for the purchase of pictures and the construction of buildings.
  2. (obsolete) To earn, win.
  3. (obsolete) To reward, to give in return for service.
  4. (obsolete) To serve; to treat; to benefit.

Usage notes[edit]


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]