1. Having worth or excellence; possessing merit; valuable; deserving; estimable; excellent; virtuous. "Full worthy was he in his lordes war." (Chaucer) "These banished men that I have kept withal Are men endued with worthy qualities." (Shak) "Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be." (Milton) "This worthy mind should worthy things embrace." (Sir J. Davies)
2. 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; as, worthy of, equal in excellence, value, or dignity to; entitled to; meriting; usually in a good sense, but sometimes in a bad one. "No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway." (Shak) "The merciless Macdonwald, Worthy to be a rebel." (Shak) "Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear." (Matt. Iii. 11) "And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know More happiness." (Milton) "The lodging is well worthy of the guest." (Dryden)
3. Of high station; of high social position. "Worthy women of the town." (Chaucer) Worthiest of blood, most worthy of those of the same blood to succeed or inherit; applied to males, and expressive of the preference given them over females.
Origin: OE. Worthi, wuroi, from worth, wuro, n.; cf. Icel. Verougr, D. Waardig, G. Wurdig, OHG. Wirdig. See Worth.
A man of eminent worth or value; one distinguished for useful and estimable qualities; a person of conspicuous desert; much used in the plural; as, the worthies of the church; political worthies; military worthies. "The blood of ancient worthies in his veins." (Cowper)
(01 Mar 1998)
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