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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 ((not found); "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
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      These banished men that I have kept withal / Are men endued with worthy qualities.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir J. Davies
      This worthy mind should worthy things embrace.
  2. honourable or admirable
  3. deserving, or having sufficient worth
  4. Suited; befitting.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Matthew iii. 11
      [] whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know / More happiness.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      The lodging is well worthy of the guest.
Derived terms[edit]


worthy (plural worthies)

  1. a distinguished or eminent person

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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare, King Lear
      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