Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR MERIT

Does he believe, that the disgrace which I supper on his account, will give him a merit with me?

But give up an inclination, and there is some merit in that.

But the recognition of his merit came sooner than could have been expected.

I vindicated the good Mrs. Norton with a warmth that was due to her merit.

What merit was there in being what it would be contemptible not to be?

This aphorism seemed to merit a new cigar on Crane's part, so he lighted one.

Oh, Mr. Hervey, you do not—you cannot know her merit, as I do.

Well might the merit of your passion be doubted, you say, if, like Mr. Solmes—fiddle-faddle!

She insisted upon the merit of obedience, although my will were not in it.

Hence it is, that settlements are to make up for acknowledged want of merit!

WORD ORIGIN

c.1200, "spiritual credit" (for good works, etc.); c.1300, "spiritual reward," from Old French merite "wages, pay, reward; thanks; merit, moral worth, that which assures divine pity," and directly from Latin meritum "a merit, service, kindness, benefit, favor; worth, value, importance," neuter of meritus, past participle of merere, meriri "to earn, deserve, acquire, gain," from PIE root *(s)mer- "to allot, assign" (cf. Greek meros "part, lot," moira "share, fate," moros "fate, destiny, doom," Hittite mark "to divide" a sacrifice).

Sense of "worthiness, excellence" is from early 14c.; from late 14c. as "condition or conduct that deserves either reward or punishment;" also "a reward, benefit." Related: Merits. Merit system attested from 1880. Merit-monger was in common use 16c.-17c. in a sense roughly of "do-gooder."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR MERIT

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.