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From the Latin ēmeritum (a thing earned upon completion of a term of service), a substantive use of the neuter singular form of ēmeritus (earned”, “merited”, “having been earned”; “served”, “having done one’s service), the perfect passive participle of ēmereō (I earn”, “I merit).



emeritum (plural emerita)

  1. (Ancient Roman historical) A bounty awarded to a soldier upon the completion of his term of service.
    • 1854: Johann Joachim Eschenburg, Manual of Classical Literature, page 275
      At the expiration of the term of service, the soldiers received a bounty or donation in land or money, which was sometimes called emeritum; those who had served their time out being also called emeriti.