Definition of deserve in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈzərv/


[with object]
Do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment): the referee deserves a pat on the back for his bravery [with infinitive]: people who park like that deserve to be towed away
More example sentences
  • He deserves some reward for all the hard work he puts in and now he just has to be more selfish.
  • Irate shareholders wondered exactly what he had delivered to deserve such a reward.
  • He has a job where most people will not even know he's part of the staff, he deserves a pat on the back.
merit, earn, warrant, rate, justify, be worthy of, be entitled to, have a right to, be qualified for
well earned, merited, warranted, justified, justifiable;
rightful, due, right, just, fair, fitting, appropriate, suitable, proper, apt
archaic meet


Middle English: from Old French deservir, from Latin deservire 'serve well or zealously'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·serve

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