Is there an abstract noun for 'deserve'? If not, is there a criterion for words to have an abstract form?

For example, say I am creating a game where I need my character to gain some "Co-efficient of (abstract noun for deserve)" to access something.

  • What do you want to say and/or what is the context in which you would use it? Telling us that would go a long way about lending you a hand.
    – Azami
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 12:37
  • So, just to be clear, you mean something like "deservingness", but possibly a bit snappier? Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 12:49
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    Merit or warrant or due.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 12:49
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    The formal derivative is desert, the OF participle of deservir, but it is not much used today except in the fixed phrase just deserts. Deserving would be the fully English derivative. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 13:46
  • 1
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 19:44

5 Answers 5


In this context, I think this would suit your character's description:

Merit - MW

A good quality or feature that deserves to be praised
The quality of being good, important, or useful : value or worth

For an in-game character, deserve is too vast. You have to wonder how and why he deserves something (like to enter a new zone, or to get a new aptitude) before actually putting a noun on it.

See: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/merit, goodness, virtue, integrity, talent are all features that could make your character deserve something.


There is an abstract noun from 'deserve': 'desert' (Chambers). This is often encountered in the plural (e.g. "just deserts").

I'm not suggesting it (or anything else) for a computer game, but you did ask.

  • 1
    And it's the only on-topic answer here. Though as you say it wouldn't work well in OP's intended slot. Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 18:43

Honor, in the sense of:

respect that is given to someone who is admired


good reputation : good quality or character as judged by other people

Depending on your audience, a "Coefficient of Honor" may have a nice ring to it.


What about karma https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma which can be oversimplified to mean "good-action points which you build up to make it more likely that good things will happen to you in return".



noun 1.3. High value or merit
"he is noble and gains his position by showing his inner worth"

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