adjective, un·wor·thi·er, un·wor·thi·est.

noun, plural un·wor·thies.

an unworthy person.

Origin of unworthy

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at un-1, worthy
Related formsun·wor·thi·ly, adverbun·wor·thi·ness, nounself-un·wor·thi·ness, noun

Synonyms for unworthy

Antonyms for unworthy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unworthiness

Contemporary Examples of unworthiness

Historical Examples of unworthiness

  • She was as much to blame as he; and for her unworthiness was he to be left to suffer?

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • The weight which pressed him down was the sense of his unworthiness.


    James Anthony Froude

  • Pete mistook Philip's hesitation for a silent commentary on his own unworthiness.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • I am punished for the unworthiness of my offering and the unworthiness of the cause in which I offered it.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • I admit it; but it is with unworthiness that we must combat unworthiness.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for unworthiness



(often foll by of) not deserving or worthy
(often foll by of) beneath the level considered befitting (to)that remark is unworthy of you
lacking merit or value
(of treatment) not warranted or deserved
Derived Formsunworthily, adverbunworthiness, 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

Word Origin and History for unworthiness



mid-13c., unwurði, from un- (1) "not" + worthy. Cf. Middle Dutch onwerdich, Dutch onwaardig, Middle Low German unwerdich, Old High German unwirdig, Old Norse uverðugr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper