demerit

[ dih-mer-it ]
/ dɪˈmɛr ɪt /

noun

a mark against a person for misconduct or deficiency: If you receive four demerits during a term, you will be expelled from school.
the quality of being censurable or punishable; fault; culpability.
Obsolete. merit or desert.

Origin of demerit

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French desmerite) < Medieval Latin dēmeritum fault, noun use of neuter past participle of Latin dēmerēre to earn, win the favor of (dē- taken in ML as privative, hence pejorative). See de-, merit

Related forms

de·mer·i·to·ri·ous [dih-mer-i-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-] /dɪˌmɛr ɪˈtɔr i əs, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivede·mer·i·to·ri·ous·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for demerit

British Dictionary definitions for demerit

demerit

/ (diːˈmɛrɪt, ˈdiːˌmɛrɪt) /

noun

something, esp conduct, that deserves censure
US and Canadian a mark given against a person for failure or misconduct, esp in schools or the armed forces
a fault or disadvantage

Derived Forms

demeritorious, adjectivedemeritoriously, adverb

Word Origin for demerit

C14 (originally: worth, later specialized to mean: something worthy of blame): from Latin dēmerērī to deserve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012