When the tree was finished, and the church had been decked with boughs and holly, they all went home for a well-merited rest.
That was because I overheard his well-merited rebuke to Hopper.
The teller of the story does not relate in what manner he received this well-merited reproof.
Wherever he was heard he was marked by well-merited success.
After severe but well-merited reproof, his father paid them; and De Courcy promised amendment.
With these I proudly staggered back to camp, aware of the royal and well-merited reception which awaited me, and which I got.
On this occasion the women of the colony achieved a well-merited reputation for culinary skill and resourcefulness.
Oh, those men are cowards, and I inflicted a well-merited punishment on the scoundrel.
I thought it was uttering a well-merited curse on the hateful craft we were on board.
He had him by the nape of the neck, and promptly administered the well-merited punishment.
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."