GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Found 3 definitions

  1.       
    Merit (?), n. [F. mérite, 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.]
    1. The quality or state of deserving well or ill; desert.

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

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    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.

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

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

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    To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,

    And every author's merit, but his own. Pope.

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

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

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  2.       
    Merit, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Merited; p. pr. & vb. n. Meriting.] [F. mériter, L. meritare, v. intens. fr. merere. See Merit, n.]
    1. 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.” Shak.

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    2. To reward. [R. & Obs.] Chapman.

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  3.       
    Merit, v. i. To acquire desert; to gain value; to receive benefit; to profit. [Obs.]  Beau. & Fl.

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