a mark against a person for misconduct or deficiency: If you receive four demerits during a term, you will be expelled from school.
the quality of being censurable or punishable; fault; culpability.
Obsolete. merit or desert.

1350–1400; Middle English (< Old French desmerite) < Medieval Latin dēmeritum fault, noun use of neuter past participle of Latin dēmerēre to earn, win the favor of (dē- taken in ML as privative, hence pejorative). See de-, merit

demeritorious [dih-mer-i-tawr-ee-uhs, -tohr-] , adjective
demeritoriously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
demerit (diːˈmɛrɪt, ˈdiːˌmɛrɪt)
1.  something, esp conduct, that deserves censure
2.  (US), (Canadian) a mark given against a person for failure or misconduct, esp in schools or the armed forces
3.  a fault or disadvantage
[C14 (originally: worth, later specialized to mean: something worthy of blame): from Latin dēmerērī to deserve]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1399, from O.Fr. desmerite, from des- "not, opposite" + merite "merit." L. demereri meant "to merit, deserve," from de- in its completive sense. But M.L. demeritum meant "fault." Both senses existed in the M.Fr. form of the word. Meaning "penalty point in school" is attested from 1862.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The whole demerit system, and use of detention is odd too.
Chen, who was a senior at the time, was given a demerit but not expelled.
Inside, the sole demerit is an awkward navigation and audio screen.
Indeed, if there was a demerit to the collection, it was that she did not offer a similar looseness in her evening looks.
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