A lawsuit that actually makes a valid legal claim for which the plaintiff should recover compensation is an example of a meritorious lawsuit.
A valiant effort for which you are rewarded with a certificate of participation for trying so hard is an example of a meritorious effort.
Origin of meritorious
- Middle English from Latin meritōrius earning money from meritus past participle of merēre to earn merit
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English, borrowed between 1375 and 1425 from Latin meritōrius (“earning money"), from meritus, past participle of mereō (“to earn")