demerit

[dih-mer-it]

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.

Nearby words

  1. dementia pugilistica,
  2. demento,
  3. demerara,
  4. demerge,
  5. demerger,
  6. demerol,
  7. demersal,
  8. demesne,
  9. demeter,
  10. demeton

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. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for demeritorious

demerit

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 Formsdemeritorious, 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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper