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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Merit


MER'IT, noun [Latin meritum, from mereo, to earn or deserve.]

1. Desert; goodness or excellence which entitles one to honor or regard; worth; any performance or worth which claims regard or compensation; applied to morals, to excellence in writing, or to valuable services of any kind. Thus we speak of the inability of men to obtain salvation by their own merits. We speak of the merits of an author; the merits of a soldier, etc.

2. Value; excellence; applied to things; as the merits of an essay or poem; the merits of a pointing; the merits of a heroic achievement.

3. Reward deserved; that which is earned or merited.

Those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth.

MER'IT, verb transitive [Latin merito.] To deserve; to earn by active service, or by any valuable performance; to have a right to claim reward in money, regard, honor or happiness. Watts, by his writings, merited the gratitude of the whole christian world. The faithful laborer merits his wages.

A man at best is incapable of meriting any thing from God.

1. To deserve; to have a just title to. Fidelity merits and usually obtains confidence.

2. To deserve, in an ill sense; to have a just title to. Every violation of law merits punishment. Every sin merits God's displeasure.