What Dr. King said to us was that unmerited suffering was always redemptive.
But conversations with several Senate staffers and Capitol Hill insiders say the shock is unmerited.
The unmerited are to be attributed to the indistinctness of my rapid penmanship.
"But—you see I had done him an unmerited injury," said Jimmy, soberly.
In saying this he had certainly paid them an unmerited compliment, for they had hitherto begun nothing.
How escape deserved reckoning in the one and unmerited accounting in the other?
Or if he lives, You never have offended him; and for distresses so unmerited, he will have pity.
From hunted sense of unmerited outlawry I have passed to that of 'ermine' function.
By this fatal step Ashburnham incurred the unmerited charge of treachery and disloyalty.
Only once did he fling out and bestow an unmerited blow on the pork-barrel.
c.1200, "spiritual credit" (for good works, etc.); c.1300, "spiritual reward," from Old French merite "wages, pay, reward; thanks; merit, moral worth, that which assures divine pity," and directly from Latin meritum "a merit, service, kindness, benefit, favor; worth, value, importance," neuter of meritus, past participle of merere, meriri "to earn, deserve, acquire, gain," from PIE root *(s)mer- "to allot, assign" (cf. Greek meros "part, lot," moira "share, fate," moros "fate, destiny, doom," Hittite mark "to divide" a sacrifice).
Sense of "worthiness, excellence" is from early 14c.; from late 14c. as "condition or conduct that deserves either reward or punishment;" also "a reward, benefit." Related: Merits. Merit system attested from 1880. Merit-monger was in common use 16c.-17c. in a sense roughly of "do-gooder."