Definition of worthy in English:



  • 1Having or showing the qualities that deserve the specified action or regard:

    ‘these issues are worthy of further consideration’
    • ‘But White's literary merit probably isn't what Marr discerns as the author's most appealing strength, the quality most worthy of copying.’
    • ‘For no man who is worthy to be called a man would ever submit to such an agreement if he were able to resist; he would be mad if he did.’
    • ‘Allemano and Carn are part of a younger generation of Toronto jazz musicians that are stepping up and are worthy to be heard alongside those in the Toronto establishment.’
    • ‘And with the line-up you can be sure the musicianship is worthy to be archived in CD format.’
    • ‘I will see if I am truly worthy to be called a hero or not!’
    • ‘I'm taking at least twice the time to type 4 lines of text, not even worthy to be called a paragraph.’
    • ‘Either put up or shut up, there's more than enough real news out there that's more worthy of our attention.’
    • ‘Is it possible that the sheep are not worthy of attention by our tree people and are sacrificed for the greater good, or my dinner plate!’
    • ‘I think it's sad when a community thinks they are not worthy enough to be represented in modern cinema.’
    • ‘Just because they're on your video game system and not your satellite dish, are they not worthy to be considered part of the anime world?’
    • ‘And, of course, these are the last chances for each girl to prove that she is worthy enough to be taken to Nationals.’
    • ‘With too big spectacles falling down his nose he looked down upon me constantly as if judging me, weighing if I was worthy enough to receive this good fortune.’
    • ‘We sinned gravely and are not worthy to be called bishops.’
    • ‘The binmen's job may not be as glamorous as some jobs but it is no less worthy of a proper return for the work done.’
    • ‘Being monarch brings with it overwhelming duties and obligations, not the least of which is that your people must find you worthy enough to bow and curtsy to.’
    • ‘Eventually they decided that it might be a worthy enough issue to form a whole group, an action group, around the issue of street harassment.’
    • ‘In most cases, individuals are up against one another to prove whom is more worthy to receive the award.’
    • ‘Defoe wrote stories such as Moll Flanders, Colonel Jack and Roxana when prose fiction was regarded as a low form not worthy to be classed as literature.’
    • ‘Are you sufficiently worthy to get a mention on the news when certain life events occur?’
    • ‘It felt strange to trust, for there had not been many in her life whom she had felt were worthy enough to be trusted.’
    1. 1.1 Deserving effort, attention, or respect:
      ‘generous donations to worthy causes’
      • ‘Olive likes to paint in her spare time and works mostly in watercolours and has sold some of her work so praise from Olive is worthy.’
      • ‘Do you know of any fellow citizen, who has lately done a worthy action, deserving praise and imitation?’
      • ‘All these things have now gotten their rightful due, and it's time to turn our attention to other worthy subjects.’
      • ‘All the applications are for worthy causes and all deserving of support.’
      • ‘Brian is to be congratulated on his courageous effort for such a worthy cause.’
      • ‘It was not only a great day for everyone, but a fine effort for a worthy cause.’
      • ‘In conclusion, this book is a worthy effort with a clearly argued message, full of informative and entertaining details.’
      • ‘They have gained a worthy reputation and are an active group with sixteen performers.’
      • ‘The Sports Development Committee work tirelessly to promote sport in Newry and Mourne and for that they received worthy praise.’
      • ‘Novels may be the glamour end of the book trade but they are notoriously difficult to sell, especially in hardback, and many worthy efforts fall by the wayside.’
      • ‘Best of fare was provided and compliments to the faithful organisers who put so much effort into such a worthy undertaking.’
      • ‘How can anyone deem a work of art as being somehow more worthy or deserving than another?’
      • ‘Like her first novel, this worthy sophomore effort spans the globe, hopping from the States, Europe and the Phillipines to Mother Africa.’
      • ‘At the age of 60 he has returned to the theme in his new film Rita's Legends, in every respect a worthy follow-up to the earlier work.’
      • ‘These efforts and acts of generosity have helped to fund a worthy community service that positively impacts the lives of hundreds of people in Kitchener-Waterloo.’
      • ‘They faced each other, each bowing slightly in respect to a worthy opponent.’
      • ‘It takes time and effort to overcome such obstacles that are inevitable in a worthy and noble endeavour.’
      • ‘The Producers is a worthy comedic effort that hints at Brooks' genius to follow, but the screenplay is ultimately the best thing about this film.’
      • ‘They were a pleasure to work with and it is great to see young people putting in a lot of time and effort for a very worthy cause.’
      • ‘The station and its shop will be offering visitors a cup of tea and a mince pie when they come along, in a fund-raising effort for this very worthy charity.’
      virtuous, good, moral, ethical, principled, high-principled, high-minded, right-thinking, noble, upright, upstanding, righteous, solid, decent, law-abiding, honest, honourable, respectable, respected, venerable, reputable, trustworthy, trusty, trusted, reliable, dependable, conscientious, irreproachable, blameless, unimpeachable, exemplary, admirable, praiseworthy, laudable, commendable, estimable, deserving, meritorious, creditable, sterling
      squeaky clean
      of good report
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Good enough; suitable:
      ‘no composer was considered worthy of the name until he had written an opera’
      • ‘Ideally, Gooden will prove himself worthy enough to be a fifth starter or a long reliever.’
      • ‘We are not worthy to eat the crumbs from under your table,’
      • ‘The suggestion that anyone is more worthy to represent the people now because of what his great-grandfather was doing hundreds of years ago is ridiculous!’
      • ‘The players felt emboldened by the result against Chelsea, sure that they had asserted their right to be considered as worthy heirs to the great United teams.’
      • ‘Geordie Dave, a regular at Nervous Wreck Soi Yamato, decided the Rotary Charity Walk was a worthy cause, worthy enough for him to do the eight kilometer walk himself.’
      • ‘We are looking for a side of 10 student warriors worthy enough to battle against a team of 10 developers in six rounds of two undisclosed games.’
      • ‘In education, girls, who were once considered less worthy of a decent education, now outstrip their male counterparts at almost every stage.’
      • ‘The following comprehension skills are indeed worthy to use.’
      • ‘In my mind's eye, this was a sign that maybe I would be tempted to stray, and thus not worthy enough to get married.’
      • ‘Owners of expensive and potentially great wines end up fretting about the condition under the cork or saving them for far too long, because a worthy enough event always eludes them.’
      • ‘No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.’
      • ‘It was an amazing, elegant room, one very worthy of first class travel.’
      • ‘Salted meats and fish were considered low-status ingredients, appropriate for labourers but not for nobles, and certainly not worthy enough to be treated with spices.’
      • ‘All I know is that he's not worthy enough to sit at our table anymore.’
      • ‘You do not see her worthy enough for a bond so sacred as marriage.’
      • ‘I do hope you are worthy enough for the challenge, though I must admit our first meeting was something of a disappointment.’
      • ‘A former Carlow senior footballer and coach to the county team, Micheál will be considered a most worthy recipient of the Hall of Fame.’
      • ‘It's a comic-relief part, but situated in a suitably worthy backdrop, and it affords the actress big moments of pathos as well.’
      • ‘We appreciate that they have many calls on their funding so are especially grateful that they considered us worthy recipients.’
      • ‘They don't have to give awards in all 24 categories each year, or even have five nominees if they don't believe there are enough worthy candidates.’
      deserve, be deserving of, merit, warrant, rate, justify, earn, be entitled to, have a right to, have a claim on, have a claim to, be qualified for, qualify for
      View synonyms
  • 2Characterized by good intent but lacking in humour or imagination:

    ‘worthy but tedious advice’
    • ‘All of which contributes to making Sylvia a film which, while certainly worthy in intent, won't have very many people seeking to find out more about the poet.’
    • ‘Wind farms are a horrible example of what happens when people with worthy intentions try to construct an ideology around them.’
    • ‘Usually it was a long and, I often felt, unnecessarily drawn-out and tedious experience where worthy but dull homilies were addressed to the assembled Gaels.’
    • ‘My generation was raised on a diet of stultifyingly tedious, but worthy accounts of embryology, typically very badly printed on what appeared to be rice paper.’
    • ‘It is hard to evaluate Millet's work; the intention is so worthy and, although without subtlety, so persuasive, but the artistry is so deficient.’


  • A person notable or important in a particular sphere:

    ‘schools governed by local worthies’
    • ‘The worthies on the committee also attempted to explain why those mistakes - in surveillance, in intelligence-gathering, analysis and co-ordination - were made.’
    • ‘We offered a few local worthies well known for their forthright opinions the chance to let off a bit of steam.’
    • ‘The worthies claimed that the jeeps had literally come apart during campaigning as they carried 20 to 25 campaigners over the worst possible terrain.’
    • ‘As far as his plans for this food museum are concerned, I must admit that I have yet to find anyone who is keen on it, and understand that the presentation to the worthies in Bedford by the company seeking to set up this museum was simply awful!’
    • ‘Club members and local worthies wait to tuck in at the Harvest’
    • ‘The assembled civic worthies and their university visitors were confronted by the apparition of the mayor, clad in what appeared to be a rumpled pyjama shirt under his coat.’
    • ‘The clock has been built without public consultation by a bunch of worthies,’ she said.’
    • ‘The idea of decorum had its strongest hold on the traditions of portraiture of nobles and worthies.’
    • ‘The performance opens at a seemingly innocuous meeting of a village fête committee, made up of a drunk vicar and an array of ineffectual local worthies who deliver a string of bawdy one-liners.’
    • ‘At no stage did any of these worthies think it necessary to do some fact-checking before besmirching the reputation of a former cabinet officer.’
    • ‘The private donors on whom civic authorities had largely relied were always to a substantial extent local worthies who served on their councils and were expected to reciprocate local honour with generosity.’
    • ‘Indeed, Scott was among a number of literary worthies who celebrated the area in song and praised it in pen.’
    • ‘Personally, I would like to see a lot more art recognising local worthies, not because I like to massage egos but because I would like to see a lot more local worthies doing things deemed worthy of such recognition.’
    • ‘He's dealing with estate agents, property developers and local worthies with an almost scary efficiency.’
    • ‘The departure lounge at Kirkwall was packed with enough local worthies to fill a jumbo jet.’
    • ‘Though many of the worthies are media personalities, and usually able to affect an easy, relaxed air before the cameras, most of them seem a little awkward - they must be nervous.’
    • ‘Does it ever occur to the worthies of our beloved city council that they may owe the residents of York more consideration than they seem to afford us?’
    • ‘These rights were guarded jealously, and one of the most predictable sights of a new reign was the procession of local worthies petitioning the king for their confirmation.’
    • ‘Various worthies expressed anxiety last week at the high number of pupils failing maths, and at the drop in the number taking the subject at higher level.’
    • ‘Gary's soon rubbing shoulders with other local worthies, games sponsors, competitors and visitors.’
    dignitary, notable, notability, celebrity, personage, famous person, important person, person of note, luminary, public figure, official, pillar of society, grandee, panjandrum, leading light, name, big name, somebody, someone
    vip, top brass, mr big, big daddy, big shot, bigwig, big cheese, big fish, big gun, big noise, celeb, biggie, heavy, hotshot
    lady muck, lord muck, nob
    big wheel, kahuna, big kahuna, macher, high muckamuck, high muckety-muck
    View synonyms


Middle English: from worth + -y.