Definition of deserve in English:


Syllabification: de·serve
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 forwell-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'.

More definitions of deserve

Definition of deserve in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw