From Middle English merite, from Old French merite, from Latin meritum (“that which one deserves, just deserts; service, kindness, benefit, fault, blame, demerit, grounds, reason, worth, value, importance”), neuter of meritus, past participle of mereō (“I deserve, earn, gain, get, acquire”), akin to Ancient Greek μέρος (meros, “a part, lot, fate, destiny”).
merit (plural merits)
- Something deserving positive recognition.
- His reward for his merit was a check for $50.
- Something worthy of a high rating.
- A claim to commendation or reward.
- The quality of deserving reward.
- (transitive) To earn or to deserve.
- (intransitive) To be worthy or deserving.
- (obsolete, rare) To reward.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
Derived terms 
Related terms 
- merit in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- merit in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- merit at OneLook Dictionary Search