Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


just deserts

just deserts

  • get what one deserves
  • punishment or reward that is considered to be what the recipient deserved


  1. After the supervisor was suspended, many workers felt that he got his just deserts.
  2. He killed my innocent bird, but got his just deserts when he was beaten by somebody for abusing.
  3. Our neighbor Mr. Jones got just deserts when he was left helpless in need by her wife, he never ever respected her.
  4. Sarah has got no sympathy for her son and husband, she got his just deserts.

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French deserte.

Possible Confusion:
In fact its deserts, not desserts
The idiom is frequently reasonably written just desserts. Using just desserts is not a error, and it is much more common than just deserts in 21st-century texts.

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