Definition of demerit in English:

demerit

noun

  • 1A fault or disadvantage.

    ‘the merits and demerits of these proposals’
    • ‘Those opposed to the application will cry foul, and those who have an axe to grind will jump on the bandwagon, heedless of the merits and demerits of the scheme.’
    • ‘Definitely this is not the time to call in a child psychologist or bury ourselves in academic discussions on the merits and demerits of Freud versus Skinner versus Piaget.’
    • ‘Let us look at the merits and demerits of centrally governed cities.’
    • ‘The starting point of discussion is in the context of a broader discussion on the merits and demerits of the national tax system.’
    • ‘So, if you would like to read, or have already read, these books and are interested in having some lively discussion on their merits or demerits, contact Deirdre on the number above.’
    • ‘Then people will concentrate on the merits or demerits of the book.’
    • ‘In the paper, she highlighted various merits and demerits of the mechanically operated automatic toothbrush as against the manually operated one.’
    • ‘To get a favourable rating, employees may endorse every action of their superiors without analysing its merits and demerits.’
    • ‘‘I do not intend to do so; it would be entirely inappropriate for me to engage in public debate on the merits or demerits of the Bill,’ he wrote.’
    • ‘Instead, he surveys the answers and disagreements found in the vast literature of the subject, giving his own incisive judgment on the merits and demerits of the various authors concerned.’
    • ‘The so-called ‘realistic’ Budget has some merits and demerits.’
    • ‘Regardless of the intent of some, the proposal should be judged only on its merits or demerits.’
    • ‘Seriously though, we really are interested in publicising genuine examples of bias and all cases, left or right, will be dealt with fairly and on their journalistic merits or demerits.’
    • ‘Nobody in power dared a debate on the merits and demerits of computerisation in a vast country with millions and millions of unemployed youth.’
    • ‘There are heated arguments about the merits and demerits of studying with the television set turned on, especially when it is examination time.’
    • ‘At that time, I will try to set out what I think are the chief merits and demerits of our Constitutional proposal.’
    • ‘Whatever the merits or demerits of any of these policies, the liberal label would never fit if the word still meant what it once meant.’
    • ‘To be fair I haven't ever been at a Compromise or International rules match so I can't really comment on its merits or demerits but I can offer an opinion.’
    • ‘I have no interest in getting into a debate about what is and what isn't traditional music, or the musical merits and demerits of my chosen instruments.’
    • ‘He dressed for the occasion, received higher class audiences, held forth on the merits and demerits of the film and was usually an expert on public taste.’
  • 2North American A mark awarded against someone for a fault or offence.

    • ‘It was used, for example, when a pupil had received five demerit marks.’
    • ‘Double demerit points for motorists caught speeding in 40 kph school zones was one suggestion put forward at a public forum last week.’
    • ‘The double demerit point system is going to be evaluated by the Office of Road Safety not too far down the track.’
    • ‘A further 81 drivers were booking for speeding, despite double demerit points.’
    • ‘Governments continue to agonise about ways of reducing the road toll, through speeds, more police, double demerit points, more advertising.’
    • ‘Double demerits for speeding and seatbelt offences over the Easter period have been extended to 11 days to include the Anzac Day holiday weekend.’
    • ‘Double demerits will be in force for all traffic offences this Anzac Day long weekend.’
    • ‘This, even with Australia's ubiquitous double demerit penalty that applies during any public holiday.’
    • ‘It has introduced the football equivalent of the ‘double demerit points’ various states use as blatant revenue raisers over holiday periods.’
    • ‘Failure to supply the details of the driver is itself an offence which can result in the owner receiving demerit points or a disqualification.’
    • ‘From midnight tonight until midnight Monday March 3, double demerit point infringements will be issued for those who fail to follow the rules.’
    • ‘The amendment proposes to add 10 demerit points to that offence.’
    • ‘Drink driving is a crime and is expensive (double fines and double demerit points).’
    • ‘The contract between the parties establishes a behaviour policy and a demerit point system.’
    • ‘Full marks for actually responding, demerits for tardiness.’
    • ‘Double demerit points for speeding and seatbelt offences will operate from December 19 to January 2.’

Origin

Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘merit’): from Old French desmerite or Latin demeritum ‘something deserved’, neuter past participle of demereri, from de- ‘thoroughly’ (also understood in medieval Latin as denoting reversal) + mereri ‘to merit’.

Pronunciation

demerit

/diːˈmɛrɪt/