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From Middle English unworthy, equivalent to un- +‎ worthy.


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈwɝði/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)ði


unworthy (comparative unworthier, superlative unworthiest)

  1. Not worthy; lacking value or merit; worthless.
    Antonym: worthy
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
      [] But alas the while!
      If Hercules and Lichas play at dice
      Which is the better man, the greater throw
      May turn by the fortune from the weaker hand:
      So is Alcides beaten by his page;
      And so may I, blind Fortune leading me,
      Miss that which one unworthier may attain,
      And die with grieving.
    • 1951 October, R. S. McNaught, “Lines of Approach”, in Railway Magazine, page 703:
      Another place where, from the aesthetic point of view, a long tunnel would have been a real blessing, is East London as viewed from the carriage window on the old Great Eastern line. Despite a vast change from crowded slums to tracts of wasteland, due to its grim wartime experience, this approach still provides a shabby and unworthy introduction to the great capital.
    • 1960 January, “New reading on railways”, in Trains Illustrated, page 26:
      AN HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE RAILWAYS OF THE BRITISH ISLES. By Ernest F. Carter. Cassell. 63s. [...] Such a disappointing work is embarrassing to the reviewer and unworthy of the great House of Cassell.

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unworthy (plural unworthies)

  1. An inadequate person.