a. A quality or characteristic deserving of blame or censure; a fault.
b. Absence of merit.
2. A mark made against one's record for a fault or for misconduct.
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
de·mer′i·tori·ous (-tôrē-əs) adj.
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