Definitions

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

  • adj. Having worth, merit, or value; useful or valuable.
  • adj. Honorable; admirable: a worthy fellow.
  • adj. Having sufficient worth; deserving: worthy to be revered; worthy of acclaim.
  • n. An eminent or distinguished person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having worth, merit, or value
  • adj. honourable or admirable
  • adj. deserving, or having sufficient worth
  • n. a distinguished or eminent person
  • v. To render or treat as worthy; exalt; revere; honour; esteem; respect; value; reward; adore.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having worth or excellence; possessing merit; valuable; deserving; estimable; excellent; virtuous.
  • adj. Having suitable, adapted, or equivalent qualities or value; -- usually with of before the thing compared or the object; more rarely, with a following infinitive instead of of, or with that; ; entitled to; meriting; -- usually in a good sense, but sometimes in a bad one.
  • adj. Of high station; of high social position.
  • n. A man of eminent worth or value; one distinguished for useful and estimable qualities; a person of conspicuous desert; -- much used in the plural.
  • transitive v. To render worthy; to exalt into a hero.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having worth; of high standing or degree; honorable; worshipful; excellent; deserving of honor, respect, praise, mention, attention, or the like; valuable; noble; estimable; virtuous; meritorious: noting persons and things.
  • Of high rank or social station.
  • Deserving; meriting: sometimes followed by of before the thing merited or deserved, sometimes by an accusative directly, and sometimes by an infinitive.
  • Well-deserved.
  • In keeping with the standing, character, dignity, etc. (of); fit; fitted; proper; suited; suitable: with of, for, or an infinitive clause.
  • n. A person of eminent worth; one distinguished for serviceable and estimable qualities: as, Fuller's “History of the Worthies of England.”
  • n. A local celebrity; a character; an eccentric: as, a village worthy.
  • n. Anything of worth or excellence.
  • To render worthy; exalt.

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

  • n. an important, honorable person (word is often used humorously)
  • adj. having qualities or abilities that merit recognition in some way
  • adj. worthy of being chosen especially as a spouse
  • adj. having worth or merit or value; being honorable or admirable

Etymologies

From Middle English worthy, wurthi, from Old English *weorþiġ ((not found); "worthy"), equivalent to worth +‎ -y. Cognate with Dutch waardig ("worthy"), Middle Low German werdig ("worthy"), German würdig ("worthy"), Swedish värdig ("worthy"), Icelandic verðugt ("worthy"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English worthien, wurthien, from Old English weorþian ("to esteem, honor, worship, distinguish, celebrate, exalt, praise, adorn, deck, enrich, reward"), from Proto-Germanic *werþōnan (“to be worthy, estimate, appreciate, appraise”), from Proto-Indo-European *wert- (“to turn, wind”). Cognate with German werten ("to rate, judge, grade, score"), Swedish värdera ("to evaluate, rate, size up, assess, estimate"), Icelandic virða ("to respect, esteem"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _unworthy_, and dignor, _deem worthy of_; as, -- dignī honōre, _worthy of honor (i.e. in point of honor_); fidē indignī, _unworthy of confidence_; mē dignor honōre, _I deem myself worthy of honor_.

    New Latin Grammar

  • Turns out the cobra is female, and needs a name worthy of her notoriety.

    What Should the Bronx Zoo Name Its Cobra?

  • [1268] The number of the asterisks, taken with the term worthy friend, renders it almost certain that Langton was meant.

    Life Of Johnson

  • Luke and Katie also bequeathed their son with a nickname worthy of his dual-disaster delivery, Blake "the Snowflake Otis" Michael Thacker.

    ABC News: Top Stories

  • A 1985 episode with a title worthy of a tabloid was "The Centaur's Secret Revealed."

    'Star Gazer' Popularized the Night Sky

  • He supported what he called a worthy bill that failed in the Legislature that would have imposed fees on businesses that pollute in order to fund storm water cleanup.

    LIVE from Renton: King County executive candidate forum

  • CHIOU: Judging from inroads it's making, the 8th Estate Winery may very well prove that "made in Hong Kong" is a label worthy of a toast.

    CNN Transcript Nov 2, 2009

  • All these shortcomings are fixable now, and long overdue for an overhaul, suggesting HENRY & JUNE as a title worthy of remastering by Universal -- preferably with substantial supplementary input.

    Archive 2008-03-09

  • For a long time the army and a great number of citizens, who idolized the hero of Italy and Egypt, had manifested openly their desire to see him wear a title worthy of his renown and the greatness of

    Complete Project Gutenberg Collection of Memoirs of Napoleon

  • For a long time the army and a great number of citizens, who idolized the hero of Italy and Egypt, had manifested openly their desire to see him wear a title worthy of his renown and the greatness of France.

    Recollections of the private life of Napoleon

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