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Word of the Day
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Definitions for meritorious

  1. deserving praise, reward, esteem, etc.; praiseworthy: to receive a gift for meritorious service.

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Citations for meritorious
It wasn't exactly a misdemeanor to be late to breakfast--it began promptly at eight o'clock--but it was distinctly meritorious not to be. Henry Kitchell Webster, The Real Adventure, 1916
They were bound to a highly meritorious lady (named Literature), of fair credit and repute, though, it must be acknowledged, not quite so highly esteemed in the City as she might be. Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, 1857
Origin of meritorious
late Middle English
Meritorious is a good example of semantic amelioration. The Latin adjective meritōrius means “earning money, bringing in money, for hire.” Meritōrium is a noun use of this adjective and means “a room or place rented for a short time.” The plural of this noun meritōria means “house of prostitution, brothel.” Meritorious acquired a positive meaning in Middle English “entitling a person to a reward, especially a reward from God.” The word entered English in the first half of the 15th century.
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