Merit \Mer"it\, n. [F. m['e]rite, L. meritum, fr. merere, mereri, to deserve, merit; prob. originally, to get a share; akin to Gr. ? part, ? fate, doom, ? to receive as one's portion. Cf. {Market}, {Merchant}, {Mercer}, {Mercy}.] 1. The quality or state of deserving well or ill; desert. [1913 Webster] Here may men see how sin hath his merit. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought For things that others do; and when we fall, We answer other's merits in our name. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Esp. in a good sense: The quality or state of deserving well; worth; excellence. [1913 Webster] Reputation is . . . oft got without merit, and lost without deserving. --Shak. [1913 Webster] To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, And every author's merit, but his own. --Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Reward deserved; any mark or token of excellence or approbation; as, his teacher gave him ten merits. [1913 Webster] Those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth. --Prior. [1913 Webster]