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demerit

[dih-mer-it]
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noun
  1. a mark against a person for misconduct or deficiency: If you receive four demerits during a term, you will be expelled from school.
  2. the quality of being censurable or punishable; fault; culpability.
  3. Obsolete. merit or desert.
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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 formsde·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. 2018

Related Words

objectionablesinfulculpabledisgracefulshamefulreprehensibleresponsibleguiltyliableimpeachableamissblamableblameworthycensurabledelinquenterranterringignobleopprobriousremiss

British Dictionary definitions for demeritorious

demerit

noun
  1. something, esp conduct, that deserves censure
  2. US and Canadian a mark given against a person for failure or misconduct, esp in schools or the armed forces
  3. a fault or disadvantage
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Derived Formsdemeritorious, adjectivedemeritoriously, adverb

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for demeritorious

demerit

n.

late 14c., from Old French desmerite "blame, demerit" (Modern French démérite), from des- "not, opposite" (see dis-) + merite "merit" (see merit (n.)). Latin demereri meant "to merit, deserve," from de- in its completive sense. But Medieval Latin demeritum meant "fault." Both senses existed in the Middle French form of the word. Meaning "penalty point in school" is attested from 1862.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper