From Middle English merite, from Old French merite, from Latin meritum (“that which one deserves; 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 (méros, “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.
- Reputation is […] oft got without merit, and lost without deserving.
- Alexander Pope
- To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, / And every author's merit, but his own.
- Reward deserved; any mark or token of excellence or approbation.
- His teacher gave him ten merits.
- those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth
- (obsolete) The quality or state of deserving either good or bad; desert.
- Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought / For things that others do; and when we fall, / We answer others' merits in our name.
- (transitive) To earn or to deserve.
- Her performance merited its wild applause.
- (intransitive) To be worthy or deserving.
- They were punished as they merited.
- (obsolete, rare) To reward.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
- merit in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- “merit”, in The Century Dictionary, New York: The Century Co., 1911
- merit at OneLook Dictionary Search
merit m (plural meric)