Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

merit

play
noun mer·it \ˈmer-ət, ˈme-rət\

Simple Definition of merit

  • : a good quality or feature that deserves to be praised

  • : the quality of being good, important, or useful : value or worth

Full Definition of merit

  1. 1 a obsolete :  reward or punishment due b :  the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts c :  a praiseworthy quality :  virtue d :  character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem; also :  achievement

  2. 2 :  spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits

  3. 3 a plural :  the substance of a legal case apart from matters of jurisdiction, procedure, or form b :  individual significance or justification

mer·it·less play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of merit

  1. She saw merit in both of the arguments.

  2. The study has no scientific merit.



Origin of merit

Middle English, from Anglo-French merite, from Latin meritum, from neuter of meritus, past participle of merēre to deserve, earn; akin to Greek meiresthai to receive as one's portion, meros part


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with merit


2

merit

verb mer·it

Simple Definition of merit

  • : to deserve (something, such as attention or good treatment) by being important or good

Full Definition of merit

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to be worthy of or entitled or liable to :  earn

  3. intransitive verb
  4. 1 obsolete :  to be entitled to reward or honor

  5. 2 :  deserve

Examples of merit

  1. Both ideas merit further consideration.

  2. These issues merit special attention.

  3. His good work merits a raise.

  4. She did well enough to merit a second interview.

  5. The attention she received was not merited.



1526

First Known Use of merit

1526



MERIT Defined for Kids

1

merit

play
noun mer·it \ˈmer-ət\

Definition of merit

  1. 1 :  the condition or fact of deserving reward or punishment <Students are graded according to merit.>

  2. 2 :  2worth 1, value <“Your suggestion has merit,” he said. — Lloyd Alexander, Time Cat>

  3. 3 :  a quality worthy of praise :  virtue <the merit of honesty>




2

merit

play
verb mer·it

Definition of merit

mer·it·edmer·it·ing

  1. :  to be worthy of or have a right to <Both ideas merit further consideration.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up merit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ