[ mer-it ]
/ ˈmɛr ɪt /
claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.
something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.: The book's only merit is its sincerity.
merits, the inherent rights and wrongs of a matter, as a lawsuit, unobscured by procedural details, technicalities, personal feelings, etc.: The case will be decided on its merits alone.
Often merits. the state or fact of deserving; desert: to treat people according to their merits.
Roman Catholic Church. worthiness of spiritual reward, acquired by righteous acts made under the influence of grace.
Obsolete. something that is deserved, whether good or bad.
verb (used with object)
to be worthy of; deserve.
verb (used without object)
Chiefly Theology. to acquire merit.
based on merit: a merit raise of $25 a week.
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Origin of merit
1175–1225; Middle English < Latin meritum act worthy of praise (or blame), noun use of neuter of meritus, past participle of merēre to earn
synonym study for merit
1. See desert3.
OTHER WORDS FROM merit
mer·it·ed·ly, adverbmer·it·less, adjectivehalf-mer·it·ed, adjectiveo·ver·mer·it, verb
pre·mer·it, verb (used with object)self-mer·it, nounun·mer·it·ed, adjectiveun·mer·it·ed·ly, adverbwell-mer·it·ed, adjective
Words nearby merit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for meritless
Some of these meritless canvases are attributed to John of Burgundy.Toledo. The Story of an Old Spanish Capital|Hannah Lynch
British Dictionary definitions for meritless
/ (ˈmɛrɪt) /
worth or superior quality; excellencework of great merit
(often plural) a deserving or commendable quality or actjudge him on his merits
Christianity spiritual credit granted or received for good works
the fact or state of deserving; desert
an obsolete word for reward
verb -its, -iting or -ited
(tr) to be worthy of; deservehe merits promotion
See also merits
Derived forms of meritmerited, adjectivemeritless, adjective
Word Origin for merit
C13: via Old French from Latin meritum reward, desert, from merēre 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
Idioms and Phrases with meritless
see on its merits.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.