from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A quality or characteristic deserving of blame or censure; a fault.
- n. Absence of merit.
- n. A mark made against one's record for a fault or for misconduct.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A quality of being inadequate; a fault; a disadvantage
- n. A mark given for bad conduct to a person attending an educational institution or serving in the army.
- v. To deserve.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. That which one merits or deserves, either of good or ill; desert.
- n. That which deserves blame; ill desert; a fault; a vice; misconduct; -- the opposite of
- n. The state of one who deserves ill.
- transitive v. To deserve; -- said in reference to both praise and blame.
- transitive v. To depreciate or cry down.
- intransitive v. To deserve praise or blame.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To deserve; merit; earn.
- To deserve to lose from lack of merit or desert.
- To be deserving; deserve.
- n. That which one merits; desert.
- To lower the merit of; discredit; depreciate.
- n. That which merits ill; censurable conduct; wrong-doing; ill desert: opposed to merit.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the quality of being inadequate or falling short of perfection
- n. a mark against a person for misconduct or failure; usually given in school or armed forces
Middle English demerite, offense, from Old French desmerite, from Latin dēmeritum, from neuter past participle of dēmerēre, to deserve : dē-, de- + merēre, to earn; see (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)