de·​mer·​it | \ di-ˈmer-ət How to pronounce demerit (audio) , dē-, -ˈme-rət \

Definition of demerit

1 obsolete : offense
2a : a quality that deserves blame or lacks merit : fault, defect
b : lack of merit
3 : a mark usually entailing a loss of privilege given to an offender

Synonyms & Antonyms for demerit



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Examples of demerit in a Sentence

Students are given demerits if they arrive late for classes. as a typist she has the advantage of speed but the demerit of inaccuracy
Recent Examples on the Web The drivetrain in the MX-30 feels detuned, maybe to stretch the range of its small battery pack, which leads us to our next performance demerit. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 4 Oct. 2021 The people who put together securitizations – who pay attention to every little demerit in the rating process – might not like the fact that the securitization process devalues New York loans. Joshua Stein, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 The largest network of charter schools in Chicago ended a demerit system that cracked down on small infractions and, in a letter to alumni, apologized for its harsh discipline policies. Bob Fernandez, ProPublica, 10 June 2021 In the ever-intense competition to attract businesses, restrictive healthcare laws such as SB 8 could be a decisive demerit. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2021 Two of the man’s supervisors had resigned, Zhang wrote, and the company’s chief human resources officer Judy Tong — one of 13 senior leaders — had been given a demerit. Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2021 So count a predictable rise in pig injuries and deaths as a demerit for Proposition 12 — and a cost to farmers and consumers. Will Swaim, National Review, 9 Aug. 2021 As another demerit, HSA contributions are capped, for 2021, at $3,600 for singles and $7,200 for families, plus an extra $1,000 for people 55 and up. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2021 According to the 2019-20 student handbook, for instance, a student who accrues more than 50 demerit points in a year risks earning less than the full scholarship amount for that year. Bob Fernandez, ProPublica, 10 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demerit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of demerit

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demerit

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French demerite, from Medieval Latin demeritum, from neuter of demeritus, past participle of demerēre to be undeserving of, from Latin, to earn, from de- + merēre to merit

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The first known use of demerit was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near demerit

demerara sugar



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Cite this Entry

“Demerit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for demerit


de·​mer·​it | \ dē-ˈmer-ət How to pronounce demerit (audio) \

Kids Definition of demerit

: a mark placed against a person's record for doing something wrong

More from Merriam-Webster on demerit

Nglish: Translation of demerit for Spanish Speakers


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