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 While Police Chief Michael Kass was honoring him with a meritorious service award, Vader ran around the room, chewing his toy and accepting scratches from those in attendance. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brown Deer police dog Vader retires after nearly eight years on duty," 2 Mar. 2020 Hernon has also been awarded 10 letters of commendation or appreciation, two fitness awards, a medal of valor and two meritorious arrest awards, along with seven shift/unit acknowledgments, according to his personnel file. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An Oak Creek police officer was suspended for confronting his ex-wife's husband during a shift," 28 Jan. 2020 On Tuesday, many of those same journalists paid Cafardo their ultimate tribute when he was named the winner of the 71st J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing., "SAN DIEGO — The late Nick Cafardo treasured the relationships he built during the nearly four decades he covered baseball, particularly with his fellow writers.," 11 Dec. 2019 He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and was honorably discharged as Acting First Sergeant of the VIII Corps Provost Marshals Office., "William James Controvillas Sr.," 20 Nov. 2019 They were rejected by other dealers, but Otto Kallir immediately recognized them as artistically meritorious and dispatched Ms. Bachert to visit and cultivate her., "“I could have retired 20 years ago, but I can’t unglue myself,” she told The New York Times in 2015. “I’m too connected. It’s my baby.”," 27 Oct. 2019 They were rejected by other dealers, but Dr. Kallir immediately recognized them as artistically meritorious and dispatched Ms. Bachert to visit and cultivate her. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Hildegard Bachert, 98, Dies; Championed Klimt, Schiele and Grandma Moses," 23 Oct. 2019 His awards include the meritorious service ribbon, good conduct medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, jump wings, crewman wings and the combat infantry badge. Michelle Matthews |, al, "Army veteran’s research yields more than 500 years of military service in his family," 6 Nov. 2019 During the evening, DAMA will recognize the Consul General of the Dominican Republic Gisselle Castillo-Vermis for her services to Illinois’ Dominican community, and will be presenting an award to a meritorious student of Dominican descent. Steve Schering,, "Dominican American Association to hold anniversary musical celebration in Oak Park," 16 Oct. 2019

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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Last Updated

8 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meritorious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for meritorious


How to pronounce meritorious (audio)

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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