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See also: Worthy and -worthy


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English worthy, wurthi, from Old English *weorþiġ ("worthy"), equivalent to worth +‎ -y. Cognate with Dutch waardig (worthy), Middle Low German werdig (worthy), German würdig (worthy), Swedish värdig (worthy), Icelandic verðugt (worthy).


worthy (comparative worthier, superlative worthiest)

  1. Having worth, merit, or value.
  2. Admirable or honourable.
  3. Deserving, or having sufficient worth.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Revelation 5:1–5:
      1 And I saw in þe right hand of him that sate on the Throne, a booke written within, & on the backeside, sealed with seuen seales.
      2 And I saw a strong Angel proclaiming with a loude voice; Who is worthy to open the booke, and to loose the seales thereof?
      3 And no man in heauen, nor in earth, neither vnder the earth, was able to open the booke, neither to looke thereon.
      4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open, and to reade the booke, neither to looke thereon.
      5 And one of the Elders saith vnto me, Weepe not: beholde, the Lion of the tribe of Iuda, the roote of Dauid, hath preuailed to open the booke, and to loose the seuen seales thereof.
    • 1659, J[ohn] M[ilton], “To the Parlament of the Commonwealth of England with the Dominions therof”, in Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church. [], London: [] T[homas] N[ewcombe] for L[ivewell] Chapman [], →OCLC:
      [I]t is a deed of higheſt charitie to help undeceive the people, and a vvork vvorthieſt your autoritie, in all things els authors, aſſertors and novv recoverers of our libertie, to deliver us, the only people of all Proteſtants left ſtill undeliverd, from the oppreſſions of a Simonious decimating clergie; []
  4. Suited; suitable; befitting.
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Related terms[edit]


worthy (plural worthies)

  1. A distinguished or eminent person.
    • 1867, Journal of Agriculture, page 108:
      That worthy one day, in our absence, being caught in the act of culpable talpicide, was rebuked by his mistress for disobeying his master's orders.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English worthien, wurthien, from Old English weorþian (to esteem, honor, worship, distinguish, celebrate, exalt, praise, adorn, deck, enrich, reward), from Proto-Germanic *werþōną (to be worthy, estimate, appreciate, appraise), from Proto-Indo-European *wert- (to turn, wind). Cognate with German werten (to rate, judge, grade, score), Swedish värdera (to evaluate, rate, size up, assess, estimate), Icelandic virða (to respect, esteem).


worthy (third-person singular simple present worthies, present participle worthying, simple past and past participle worthied)

  1. (transitive) To render or treat as worthy; exalt; revere; honour; esteem; respect; value; reward; adore.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      And put upon him such a deal of man,
      That worthied him, got praises of the king []
    • 1880, Sir Norman Lockyer, Nature:
      After having duly paid his addresses to it, he generally spends some time on the marble slab in front of the looking-glass, but without showing the slightest emotion at the sight of his own reflection, or worthying it with a song.
    • 1908, Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, The court of Russia in the nineteenth century:
      And it is a poor daub besides," the Emperor rejoined scornfully, as he stalked out of the gallery without worthying the artist with a look.
    • 1910, Charles William Eliot, The Harvard classics: Beowulf:
      No henchman he worthied by weapons, if witness his features, his peerless presence!
Derived terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]


From worth +‎ -y, from Old English weorþ.




  1. worthy


  • English: worthy