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[mer-i-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-] /ˌmɛr ɪˈtɔr i əs, -ˈtoʊr-/
deserving praise, reward, esteem, etc.; praiseworthy:
to receive a gift for meritorious service.
Origin of meritorious
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin meritōrius on hire. See merit, -tory1, -ous
Related forms
meritoriously, adverb
meritoriousness, noun
unmeritorious, adjective
unmeritoriously, adverb
unmeritoriousness, noun
Can be confused
meritorious, meretricious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for meritorious
  • If you are good at stroking you will be meritorious.
  • Devote the revenue generated to scholarships for meritorious students.
  • It is not every one who is able to discover a really meritorious monster.
  • Saving one live is more meritorious than building one thousand temples.
  • Nothing in a whole political scheme, not otherwise remarkable for perfection, is more thoroughly meritorious of that attention.
  • Up to two awards for meritorious work may be presented.
British Dictionary definitions for meritorious


praiseworthy; showing merit
Derived Forms
meritoriously, adverb
meritoriousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin meritōrius earning money
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meritorious

early 15c., "deserving of divine grace," from Latin meritorius "that for which money is paid, that by which money is earned," from meritus, past participle of merere "to earn" (see merit (n.)). Related: Meritoriously; meritoriousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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