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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.


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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for worthy
  • But fundamentally worthy policies shouldn't need to promise laughably overoptimistic outcomes to win support.
  • Completing a marathon is a worthy item for the bucket list.
  • Evolutionary psychology is a worthy study, it is simply another field of study.
  • They have already begun to prove themselves worthy as the next resourceful and innovative successors.
  • During the holidays, with so many gatherings waiting to happen, weeknight meals sometimes need to be worthy of company.
  • He's been stuck in that blue-and-gold get-up for too long now, and deserves a costume worthy of a magical master.
  • Liberation from indentured servitude is an entirely worthy objective.
  • The aim is a worthy one, and the only thing wrong with the plans is that they do not go nearly far enough.
  • Happily, the resulting music is worthy of this star-is-born tale.
  • Also worthy of exploration is the formation of sacred values.
British Dictionary definitions for worthy


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 worthy

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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