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[wur-th ee] /ˈwɜr ði/
adjective, worthier, worthiest.
having adequate or great merit, character, or value:
a worthy successor.
of commendable excellence or merit; deserving:
a book worthy of praise; a person worthy to lead.
noun, plural worthies.
a person of eminent worth, merit, or position:
The town worthies included two doctors.
Origin of worthy
1175-1225; Middle English; see worth1, -y1
Related forms
worthily, adverb
worthiness, noun
preworthily, adverb
preworthiness, noun
preworthy, adjective
2. meritorious, worthwhile, estimable, excellent, exemplary, righteous, upright, honorable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for worthiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The supreme council commands me not to go one step from thee, worthiness.

    The Pharaoh and the Priest Alexander Glovatski
  • To some, obscurity itself is attractive, from the hope that worthiness is the cause of it.

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
  • My dear Janet, it is not a question of worthiness; it is not a thing a woman could work out.

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • According to what you can receive of any beauty, is the measure of your worthiness.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • All through her life, she thought, she would strive to repay by worthiness the great debt of inspiration she owed to the school.

    Highacres Jane Abbott
  • I'm not at all sure it isn't his worthiness, just as much as his mother.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • Stand aside while we enter and examine you as regards your worthiness to remain within these sacred precincts.

    Dolly's College Experiences Mabel Cronise Jones
British Dictionary definitions for worthiness


adjective -thier, -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 (pl) -thies
(often facetious) a person of distinguished character, merit, or importance
Derived Forms
worthily, adverb
worthiness, 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
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Word Origin and History for worthiness



mid-13c., "having merit," from worth (n.) + -y (2). Old English had weorþful in this sense. Attested from c.1300 as a noun meaning "person of merit" (especially in Nine Worthies, famous men of history and legend: Joshua, David, Judas Maccabæus, Hector, Alexander, Julius Cæsar, Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon -- three Jews, three gentiles, three Christians).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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