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deserve

Line breaks: de|serve
Pronunciation: /dɪˈzəːv
 
/

Definition of deserve in English:

verb

[with object]
Do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate): the referee deserves a pat on the back [with infinitive]: we didn’t deserve to win
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.
Synonyms
merit, earn, warrant, rate, justify, be worthy of, be entitled to, have a right to, have a claim on, be qualified for, be good enough for
well earned, well deserved, earned, merited, warranted, justified, justifiable;
rightful, due, right, just, fair, fitting, appropriate, suitable, proper, reasonable, apt
formal condign
archaic meet

Origin

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

Phrases

deserve a medal

1
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

2
Be worthy of good (or bad) treatment at the hands of.
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.

Definition of deserve in:

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