Mer"it (?), n. [F. m'erite, L. meritum, fr. merere, mereri, to deserve, merit; prob. originally, to get a share; akin to Gr. part, fate, doom, to receive as one's portion. Cf. Market, Merchant, Mercer, Mercy.]


The quality or state of deserving well or ill; desert.

Here may men see how sin hath his merit. Chaucer.

Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought For things that others do; and when we fall, We answer other's merits in our name. Shak.


Esp. in a good sense: The quality or state of deserving well; worth; excellence.

Reputation is ... oft got without merit, and lost without deserving. Shak.

To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, And every author's merit, but his own. Pope.


Reward deserved; any mark or token of excellence or approbation; as, his teacher gave him ten merits.

Those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth. Prior.


© Webster 1913.

Mer"it, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Merited; p. pr. & vb. n. Meriting.] [F. m'eriter, L. meritare, v. intens. fr. merere. See Merit, n.]


To earn by service or performance; to have a right to claim as reward; to deserve; sometimes, to deserve in a bad sense; as, to merit punishment.

"This kindness merits thanks."



To reward.

[R. & Obs.]



© Webster 1913.

Mer"it, v. i.

To acquire desert; to gain value; to receive benefit; to profit.


Beau. & Fl.


© Webster 1913.