mer·​i·​to·​ri·​ous | \ ˌmer-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce meritorious (audio) \

Definition of meritorious

: deserving of honor or esteem honored for her meritorious service to the company

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Other Words from meritorious

meritoriously adverb
meritoriousness noun

Did You Know?

People who demonstrate meritorious behavior certainly "earn" our respect, and you can use that fact to remember that "meritorious" ultimately traces to the Latin verb merēre, which means "to earn." Nowadays, the rewards earned for meritorious acts are likely to be of an immaterial nature: gratitude, admiration, praise, etc. But that wasn't always so. The history of "meritorious" recalls a reward more concrete in nature: money. The Latin word meritorius, an ancestor of the English "meritorious," literally means "bringing in money."

Examples of meritorious in a Sentence

She was given an award for meritorious service. worked all night with meritorious determination to get the project done on time

Recent Examples on the Web

Among other things, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded for especially meritorious contributions to national security, and usually each year’s ceremony includes a military leader. F.h. Buckley, WSJ, "Depoliticize the Nation’s Highest Honor," 20 June 2018 Castro, who was inducted into the Arizona High School Athletic Association Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994 for meritorious service, was head football coach for eight years at Tempe Marcos de Niza in the 1980s. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Former Marcos de Niza coach Frank Castro dies at 83," 13 July 2018 Defenders counter that only the most meritorious cases are funded, since anything less would make a bad investment. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "The New Hot Law Job: Litigation Finance," 5 July 2018 The Grand Webmaster is given a meritorious service award. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 He was awarded 18 Air Medals for meritorious acts and heroism in flight. April Dembosky, Washington Post, "Reverberations From War Complicate Vietnam Veterans’ End-Of-Life Care," 7 Mar. 2018 Saudi Aramco will be honored during the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) with two meritorious engineering awards from Hart Energy. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Silver Sponsor: Aramco’s technology honored for industry contributions," 29 Apr. 2018 The other inductees are Kendra Gaines and John Janawicz for outstanding USBC performance, Jeri Edwards for meritorious service and Tim Mack in the pioneer category., "Digest (April 26): Baltimore bowler Wiseman goes into USBC Hall of Fame," 26 Apr. 2018 Dickson was on his 68th mission and had already been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service. The Washington Post,, "Tuskegee airman's remains possibly found in Austria after 73 years," 9 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of meritorious

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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English Language Learners Definition of meritorious

formal : deserving honor or praise


mer·​i·​to·​ri·​ous | \ ˌmer-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əs How to pronounce meritorious (audio) \

Kids Definition of meritorious

: deserving reward or honor : praiseworthy meritorious conduct


mer·​i·​to·​ri·​ous | \ ˌmer-ə-ˈtōr-ē-əs How to pronounce meritorious (audio) \

Legal Definition of meritorious

1 : deserving of honor or esteem
2 : having merit a meritorious claim

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