deserve Definition

do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a reaction which rewards or punishes as appropriate).

Using deserve: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "deserve" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I don't think you deserve to be treated like that.

  • Example

    She deserves a promotion for all her hard work.

  • Example

    You deserve a break after working so hard.

  • Example

    He deserves to be punished for what he did.

deserve Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for deserve

Antonyms for deserve

Phrases with deserve

  • get what one deserves

    receive the appropriate reward or punishment for one's actions


    He got what he deserved when he was fired for stealing.

  • be worthy of recognition or praise for one's actions


    She deserves credit for coming up with such a creative idea.

  • be worthy of or entitled to something better than what one has or is experiencing


    She deserves better than to be treated so poorly by her boss.

Origins of deserve

from Old French 'deservir', meaning 'serve well'


Summary: deserve in Brief

'Deserve' [dɪˈzɜːv] is a verb that means to do something or have qualities worthy of a reward or punishment. It is often used to express entitlement or justification, as in 'She deserves a promotion for all her hard work.' 'Deserve' can also be used in phrases like 'get what one deserves,' 'deserve credit,' and 'deserve better.'

How do native speakers use this expression?