qualified for or having a claim to reward, assistance, etc., because of one's actions, qualities, or situation: the deserving poor; a deserving applicant.
meriting; worthy: a criminal deserving of a lifetime sentence.
to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.
to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward, punishment, recompense, etc.: to reward him as he deserves; an idea deserving of study.
often postpositive and foll by of. worthy, esp of praise or reward