We deserve things based on our actions. For example, many people believe murderers deserve the death penalty.

Deserve is used in many ways, but it always carries a sense of balance or justice. If someone receives an award for their work, it means they deserve praise and attention. If you deserve a day off, it means you've been working hard and have earned a vacation. If you threw a book during class, you deserve a punishment of some kind. Many laws — and lots of arguments — are about deciding what different people deserve. It's often hard to tell.

Definitions of deserve
  1. verb
    be worthy or deserving
    “You deserve a promotion after all the hard work you have done”
    synonyms: merit
    see moresee less
    have it coming
    deserve (either good or bad)
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
Word Family

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