Definition of deserve in English:


See synonyms for deserve

Translate deserve into Spanish

transitive verb

[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’
    • ‘people who park like that deserve to be towed away’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No problem, she works hard and she deserves a little bit of quality time to relax.’
    • ‘The car was very good and the team did a fantastic job and really deserve a win.’
    • ‘Like him, Alice is very brave and deserves a chance for a bone marrow transplant.’
    • ‘This week, it is an honour to be able to praise someone who really deserves it.’
    • ‘Gemma deserves justice from the community if people can only be brave enough to come forward.’
    • ‘There is no quick fix or simple solution and the Executive deserves credit for the start it has made.’
    • ‘When an offence deserves a lesser sentence, let that sentence also be passed in open court.’
    • ‘Tomorrow's shorter distance is a bit of a worry, but he deserves attention all the same.’
    • ‘There will always be debate about who deserves honours, all of it highly subjective.’
    • ‘The original text for this piece is not mine, but it's so good it deserves reproduction.’
    • ‘The vessel does sterling work for the community and deserves recognition for this.’
    • ‘That is the measure of his achievement and for it he deserves our heartfelt praise and thanks.’
    • ‘Now he has two or three years to really show that he deserves our faith in him.’
    • ‘Everyone deserves a second chance, and people like him really do need to be helped.’
    • ‘It can get too much for her though and those are the times she deserves a hug more than anyone else I know.’
    • ‘If you know of a group which deserves this recognition, make sure you nominate them.’
    • ‘If you are to be placed in such a position, you deserve a fair hearing in court.’
    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
    View synonyms





    deserve a medal
    • Have done something considered especially praiseworthy or heroic.

      • ‘as a psychiatric nurse he deserves a medal, anyway’
    deserve well of
    • Be worthy of good treatment at the hands of.


Middle English from Old French deservir, from Latin deservire ‘serve well or zealously’.