- a quality deserving blame; fault; defect
- lack of merit
- a mark recorded against a student, trainee, etc. for poor conduct or work
Origin of demeritMiddle English and Old French demerite from Medieval Latin demeritum, fault from past participle of demerere, to forfeit, not merit, with meaning altered (de- taken in negative sense) from L, to merit from de-, intensive + merere, to deserve
- a. A quality or characteristic deserving of blame or censure; a fault.b. Absence of merit.
- A mark made against one's record for a fault or for misconduct.
Origin of demeritMiddle 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.
- A quality of being inadequate; a fault; a disadvantage
- They see no merit or demerit in any man or any action.
- Sir W. Temple
- Secure, unless forfeited by any demerit or offense.
- A mark given for bad conduct to a person attending an educational institution or serving in the army.
- That which one merits or deserves, either of good or ill; desert.
(third-person singular simple present demerits, present participle demeriting, simple past and past participle demerited)
From Old French desmerite (compare French démérite).