Definition of deserve in English:


Line breaks: de|serve
Pronunciation: /dɪˈzəːv


[with object]


deserve a medal

Have done something considered especially praiseworthy or heroic: as a psychiatric nurse he deserves a medal, anyway
More example sentences
  • The firefighters were amazing, and the gas man deserves a medal.
  • ‘I was so impressed with the organisation of the car park and the buses. Whoever organised it deserves a medal as do all the staff who were so positive and helpful,’ he said.
  • This lady, who in my opinion deserves a medal, her family, and the decent law-abiding people of this country, have been seriously let down by the legal system and by the police.

deserve well (or ill) of

Be worthy of good (or bad) treatment at the hands of.
More example sentences
  • ‘Zola’, he said, ‘deserves well of his country for not having lost faith in its ability to rule by law’ and concluded, ‘he was a moment in the history of human conscience.’
  • The names of those who deserve well of their country would swell this report to too great dimensions.
  • We hope that you will agree that she has, indeed, served us well and deserves well of us in return.


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

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little