from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Deserving reward or praise; having merit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. deserving of merit or commendation; deserving reward

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Possessing merit; deserving of reward or honor; worthy of recompense; valuable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That earns money; hireling.
  • Deserving of reward; worthy of praise or honor; possessing merit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deserving reward or praise


Middle English, from Latin meritōrius, earning money, from meritus, past participle of merēre, to earn; see merit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, borrowed between 1375 and 1425 from Latin meritōrius ("earning money"), from meritus, past participle of mereō ("to earn") (Wiktionary)



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    Well, you can't. As for you, my fine
    friend -- you're a victim of disorganized
    thinking. You are under the unfortunate
    delusion that simply because you run away
    from danger, you have no courage. You're
    confusing courage with wisdom. Back where
    I come from, we have men who are called
    heroes. Once a year, they take their
    fortitude out of mothballs and parade it
    down the main street of the city. And they
    have no more courage than you have. But!
    They have one thing that you haven't got!
    A medal! Therefore -- for meritorious....
    conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous
    bravery against wicked witches, I award you
    the Triple Cross.

    June 10, 2010