Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of merit
Meaning of merit by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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” ) .


    • enPR: mĕr'ĭt, IPA: /ˈmɛ.ɹɪt/
    • Rhymes: -ɛɹɪt


    merit ( plural: merits )

    1. Something deserving good recognition .
      His reward for his merit was a check for $50 .
    2. Something worthy of a high rating .
    3. A claim to commendation or reward .
    4. The quality of deserving reward .



    Derived terms

    External links

    • 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


    • miter, mitre, remit, timer

Explanation of merit by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be worthy or deserving

    1. the quality of being deserving ( e.g., deserving assistance )

    2. any admirable quality or attribute

    3. work of great merit

    Definition of merit by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Merit n. [F. mérite, L. meritum, fr. merere, mereri, to deserve, merit; prob. originally, to get a share; akin to Gr. part, fate, doom, to receive as one's portion. Cf. Market, Merchant, Mercer, Mercy.]
      1. The quality or state of deserving well or ill; desert.

      Here may men see how sin hath his merit. Chaucer.

      Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought

      For things that others do; and when we fall,

      We answer other's merits in our name. Shak.

      2. Esp. in a good sense: The quality or state of deserving well; worth; excellence.

      Reputation is . . . oft got without merit, and lost without deserving. Shak.

      To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,

      And every author's merit, but his own. Pope.

      3. Reward deserved; any mark or token of excellence or approbation; as, “his teacher gave him ten merits”.

      Those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth. Prior.

    2. Merit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Merited; p. pr. & vb. n. Meriting.] [F. mériter, L. meritare, v. intens. fr. merere. See Merit, n.]
      1. To earn by service or performance; to have a right to claim as reward; to deserve; sometimes, to deserve in a bad sense; as, “to merit punishment”. “This kindness merits thanks.” Shak.

      2. To reward. [R. & Obs.] Chapman.

    3. Merit, v. i. To acquire desert; to gain value; to receive benefit; to profit. [Obs.] Beau. & Fl.