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adjective, un·wor·thi·er, un·wor·thi·est.
  1. not worthy; lacking worth or excellence.
  2. beneath the dignity (usually followed by of): behavior unworthy of a king.
  3. of a kind not worthy (often followed by of).
  4. not of adequate merit or character.
  5. not commendable or creditable.
  6. not deserving.
noun, plural un·wor·thies.
  1. 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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for unworthy


  1. (often foll by of) not deserving or worthy
  2. (often foll by of) beneath the level considered befitting (to)that remark is unworthy of you
  3. lacking merit or value
  4. (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 unworthy

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