• synonyms


[mer-i-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-]
  1. deserving praise, reward, esteem, etc.; praiseworthy: to receive a gift for meritorious service.
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Origin of meritorious

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin meritōrius on hire. See merit, -tory1, -ous
Related formsmer·i·to·ri·ous·ly, adverbmer·i·to·ri·ous·ness, nounun·mer·i·to·ri·ous, adjectiveun·mer·i·to·ri·ous·ly, adverbun·mer·i·to·ri·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedmeritorious meretricious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for meritoriously

Historical Examples

  • What is written already, if you read, you do so meritoriously—and it's an example of bad writing, if you want one in the poems.

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846

    Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

  • To the great mothers, (goddesses,) Anthony Orberthol willingly and meritoriously has performed his vows or promises.

  • And the napery, the glassware and the flowers also meritoriously performed the spectacular duties required of them.

  • In some cases that may be innocently and, when it sends the lead at the hordes that support a tyrant, meritoriously employed.

  • "Peter is very silent, and most meritoriously uninterested in everything," he said to his wife.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for meritoriously


  1. praiseworthy; showing merit
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Derived Formsmeritoriously, adverbmeritoriousness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin meritōrius earning money
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 meritoriously



early 15c., "deserving of divine grace," from Latin meritorius "that for which money is paid, that by which money is earned," from meritus, past participle of merere "to earn" (see merit (n.)). Related: Meritoriously; meritoriousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper