Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Insufficient in worth; undeserving: a bad plan unworthy of our consideration.
  • adj. Lacking value or merit; worthless.
  • adj. Not suiting or befitting: "The acquaintances she had already formed were unworthy of her” ( Jane Austen).
  • adj. Vile; despicable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not worthy; lacking value or merit; worthless.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not worthy; wanting merit, value, or fitness; undeserving; worthless; unbecoming; -- often with of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not deserving; not worthy; undeserving: usually followed by of.
  • Wanting merit; worthless; vile; base.
  • Unbecoming; shameful; discreditable.
  • Not having suitable qualities or value; unsuitable; unbecoming; beneath the character of: with of.
  • Not deserved; not justified.
  • n. One who is unworthy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not deserving
  • adj. lacking in value or merit
  • adj. morally reprehensible

Etymologies

From Middle English unworthy, equivalent to un- +‎ worthy. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Consequently, I have found that much of what is put forth as evidence on this question is, as Mr. Corney has very justly intimated, quite inadmissible; in short, unworthy of belief.

    Notes and Queries, Number 15, February 9, 1850

  • Sportsman he was, and rake and gambler, as were we all; and I have seen him often overflushed with wine, but never heard from his lips a blasphemy or foul jest, never a word unworthy of clean lips and the clean heart he carried with him to his grave.

    The Reckoning

  • _Oui-a-ra - lih-to_, with about thirty-five warriors of the Indian village of Lorette in conjunction with the Iroquois and Algonquins, was actually engaged in the army of Burgoyne, a name unworthy to be associated with the noble spirit of Indian heroism.

    Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present

  • 'I thought you would deem such a name unworthy to be mentioned.'

    Hopes and Fears or, scenes from the life of a spinster

  • My advice to Steve who feels he may get “lost” in a sea of photos he may or may not deem unworthy is to learn a bit more about tags and keywords.

    Great Photo on Flickr? Getty Images Might Pay You for It - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Given that the statement Ann called him on was an opinion -- specifically, that a "council" of bloggers that condemned the unworthy might be a good idea -- I'm not sure why Eric would think that "fact-checking" would have saved him.

    Why did Eric Alterman stop doing Bloggingheads?

  • Hush! said he, I charge you! call not the dear girl by any name unworthy of her.

    Pamela

  • Dr. Gene pointed out that the word in that verse is "unworthily" not "unworthy" -- an adverb, not an adjective -- it's about whether I approach the Lord's Table with a proper reverence and understanding of its significance.

    Gene Scott, RIP - BatesLine

  • At the sound the Earl started from his seat, and ran to the window, with the momentary purpose of recalling the unworthy commission with which he had entrusted one of whom he used to say he knew no virtuous property save affection to his patron.

    Kenilworth

  • But it is one and the same God, the Father of our Lord, from whom also the prophets had their mission, who does indeed, through His infinite kindness, call the unworthy; but He examines those who are called, [to ascertain] if they have on the garment fit and proper for the marriage of His Son, because nothing unbecoming or evil pleases Him.

    ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus

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Comments

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  • "Don't you think that any secret course is an unworthy one?"
    -David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

    July 28, 2009