[ wur-thee ]
/ ˈwɜr ði /
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See synonyms for: worthy / worthier / worthies / worthiness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, wor·thi·er, wor·thi·est.
having adequate or great merit, character, or value: a worthy successor.
of commendable excellence or merit; deserving of one's time, attention, interest, work, trouble, etc.: a book worthy of praise;a person worthy to lead.
noun, plural wor·thies.
a person of eminent worth, merit, or position: The town worthies included two doctors.
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Origin of worthy

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English; see origin at worth1, -y1


wor·thi·ly, adverbwor·thi·ness, nounpre·wor·thi·ly, adverbpre·wor·thy, adjective

Other definitions for worthy (2 of 2)


a combining form of worthy, occurring in adjectives that have the general sense “deserving of, fit for” (blameworthy; newsworthy; noteworthy; trustworthy), “capable of travel in or on” (airworthy; roadworthy; seaworthy), as specified by the first word of the compound.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -worthy mean?

The combining formworthy is used like a suffix meaning “deserving of,” “fit for,” or “capable of travel in or on.” It is occasionally used in a variety of everyday and technical terms.

The form –worthy comes from Old English –wyrðe, meaning “worthy.”

Examples of -worthy

One example of a word that features the form –worthy is seaworthy, “constructed, outfitted, manned, and in all respects fitted for a voyage at sea.”

As we have seen, the suffix –worthy means “fit for,” in reference to the first part of the word. In this case, the first part of the word is sea. Seaworthy literally means “fit for the sea.”

What are some words that use the combining form –worthy?

What are some other forms that –worthy may be commonly confused with?

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Given the meaning of the combining form –worthy, what does roadworthy mean?

How to use worthy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for worthy

/ (ˈwɜːðɪ) /

adjective -thier or -thiest
(postpositive; often foll by of or an infinitive) having sufficient merit or value (for something or someone specified); deserving
having worth, value, or merit
noun plural -thies
often facetious a person of distinguished character, merit, or importance

Derived forms of worthy

worthily, adverbworthiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012