See also: Worthy and -worthy


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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English worthy, wurthi, from Old English *weorþiġ ("worthy"), equivalent to worth +‎ -y. Cognate with Dutch waardig (worthy), Middle Low German werdig (worthy), German würdig (worthy), Swedish värdig (worthy), Icelandic verðugt (worthy).


worthy (comparative worthier, superlative worthiest)

  1. having worth, merit, or value
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, published 1623, [Act V, scene iv]:
      These banished men that I have kept withal / Are men endued with worthy qualities
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir J. Davies and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      This worthy mind should worthy things embrace.
  2. honourable or admirable
  3. deserving, or having sufficient worth
  4. Suited; befitting.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene vi]:
      No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, Matthew iii. 11
      [] whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know / More happiness.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The lodging is well worthy of the guest.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit


worthy (plural worthies)

  1. a distinguished or eminent person

Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English worthien, wurthien, from Old English weorþian (to esteem, honor, worship, distinguish, celebrate, exalt, praise, adorn, deck, enrich, reward), from Proto-Germanic *werþōną (to be worthy, estimate, appreciate, appraise), from Proto-Indo-European *wert- (to turn, wind). Cognate with German werten (to rate, judge, grade, score), Swedish värdera (to evaluate, rate, size up, assess, estimate), Icelandic virða (to respect, esteem).


worthy (third-person singular simple present worthies, present participle worthying, simple past and past participle worthied)

  1. (transitive) To render or treat as worthy; exalt; revere; honour; esteem; respect; value; reward; adore.
    • c. 1603-1606, William Shakespeare, King Lear
      And put upon him such a deal of man,
      That worthied him, got praises of the king []
    • 1880, Sir Norman Lockyer, Nature:
      After having duly paid his addresses to it, he generally spends some time on the marble slab in front of the looking-glass, but without showing the slightest emotion at the sight of his own reflection, or worthying it with a song.
    • 1908, Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, The court of Russia in the nineteenth century:
      And it is a poor daub besides," the Emperor rejoined scornfully, as he stalked out of the gallery without worthying the artist with a look.
    • 1910, Charles William Eliot, The Harvard classics: Beowulf:
      No henchman he worthied by weapons, if witness his features, his peerless presence!
Derived termsEdit

Middle EnglishEdit


From worth +‎ -y, from Old English weorþ.




  1. worthy


  • English: worthy