1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Mer·it, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Merited; p. pr. & vb. n. Meriting.]
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.”
2. To reward. [R. & Obs.]
Mer·it, v. i. To acquire desert; to gain value; to receive benefit; to profit. [Obs.]
n 1: any admirable quality or attribute; "work of great merit"
[syn: virtue] [ant: demerit]
2: the quality of being deserving (e.g., deserving assistance);
"there were many children whose deservingness he
recognized and rewarded" [syn: deservingness, meritoriousness]
v : be worthy or deserving; "You deserve a promotion after all
the hard work you have done" [syn: deserve]