Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'demerit'ME & OFr demerite < ML demeritum, fault < pp. of demerere, to forfeit, not merit, with meaning altered (de- taken in negative sense) < L, to merit < de-, intens. + merere, to deserve