Definition of unworthy in US English:


adjectiveunworthiest, unworthier

  • 1Not deserving effort, attention, or respect.

    ‘he was unworthy of trust and unfit to hold office’
    • ‘A government that does not advance its people is unworthy of respect.’
    • ‘There are those who argue that romantic fiction is, at best, on a par with soap opera and Hello magazine: in other words, unworthy of serious attention.’
    • ‘Likewise, historians of photography had paid relatively little attention to tintypes as being unworthy of serious scholarly attention.’
    • ‘The therapist then shifted to processing within a view of self-context, often characterized by fears of being imperfect, unworthy, or unlovable.’
    • ‘Anything classified as a ‘minor’ crime is deemed unworthy of their attention.’
    • ‘The middle class had considered the working-class woman grimy and unattractive, unworthy of individual attention - the very antithesis of a lady.’
    • ‘The manager gave the impression that the whole idea was a distant fantasy unworthy of immediate attention on Friday, but there was an element of enthusiasm too.’
    • ‘These may be small issues unworthy of attention, but such details can only help activists in their efforts to improving the quality of life for women and reducing gender discrimination.’
    • ‘This genre was always at the bottom of the hierarchy, unworthy of the superior attention reserved for history painting.’
    • ‘They could pass as marginalia, ephemera or mere daily-life minutiae unworthy of serious attention.’
    • ‘I do not mean to suggest, however, that this aspect of the novel is unworthy of attention.’
    • ‘The vibrant subculture of battle reenactment is too often thought of as merely a hobby or as activity unworthy of sustained analytical attention.’
    • ‘Low scores indicate self-doubt, a belief that one is unworthy or undesirable, and lack of self-confidence.’
    • ‘Feeding the Fire is in fact almost unworthy of attention, because it is too unexercised to become dangerous; it will draw no real notice from critics, and reach at best a slender few hundred readers.’
    • ‘Secondly, you may suspect anyone who treats you well because you feel unworthy of respect or value.’
    • ‘The abuse lowered their self-esteem, which made them more likely to love and support someone unworthy of their attention.’
    • ‘As tools, these processes and habits don't fit, and the fault is not so much that the object of your studies is unworthy of your scholarly attention as that the analytical methods themselves are inappropriate.’
    • ‘Even ardent royalists may soon begin to feel that their idols are unworthy of either respect or affection.’
    • ‘Often, alternative perspectives are dismissed as nonscientific, polemical, or otherwise unworthy of attention.’
    • ‘Historians of the University of Toronto pictured the denominational schools, before they joined the public system, as outlying curiosities unworthy of serious attention.’
    undeserving, not worthy, not good enough for, ineligible for, unqualified for, unfit for
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    1. 1.1 (of a person's action or behavior) not acceptable, especially from someone with a good reputation or social position.
      ‘the expression of anger was frowned upon as being unworthy’
      • ‘To label those of us suspicious of the EU and its activities as ‘members of extreme right anti-European political parties’ is an unwarranted libel unworthy of an elected representative.’
      • ‘His application to business was proverbial, though his attention to accounts is often held against him as unworthy of a monarch.’
      • ‘Of course any girl would be flattered that the object of her crush seems interested, but to take advantage of that makes the teacher unworthy of such a position of trust.’
      • ‘But if they thought the professor's speech was accurate, and they just wanted to avoid the hassle and cost of a lawsuit, then I think that this is a reaction that's unworthy of a center of learning.’
      • ‘The South African attacks were cowardly and unprovoked, and unworthy of a coach of his reputation.’
      • ‘For my money, this thoughtfulness makes the moments of gratuitous blasphemy (which do happen, but are surely allowed too) disappointingly glib and unworthy of the rest of the script.’
      • ‘It's weak and tepid, altogether unworthy of Central America's great coffee traditions.’
      • ‘‘The report was a very mean act, unworthy of a reputable media organization like the BBC,’ he told a press conference.’
      • ‘This was poor design, unworthy of a competent contractor.’
      • ‘According to this explanation, the disappearance was designed to draw attention to his election campaign - and was unworthy of a presidential candidate.’
      • ‘What you mistake for humor is nothing more than virulent and blatant homophobic garbage, utterly unworthy of the 140-year-old magazine entrusted to your care.’
      unbecoming, unsuitable, inappropriate, unbefitting, unfitting, unseemly, improper, incongruous
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    2. 1.2 Having little value or merit.
      ‘many pieces are unworthy and ungrammatical’
      • ‘Critics seem so often to focus on what books are unworthy or unaccomplished that I feel bad about raining on the parade of something so well liked.’
      • ‘At its worst, it was fear of authority for its own sake, allowing no questioning of its justice or merit; and the shame was to be found unworthy in the judgment of that authority.’