What It Means
Meritorious means “deserving of honor or esteem.”
// At the gathering, the company’s president expressed his gratitude to employees for their meritorious service.
Meritorious in Context
“It’s no secret that these companies have a lot on the line here. They’re well resourced, and they’re going to marshal every argument that they have, meritorious or meritless.” — Lina Khan, quoted in The New York Magazine, 27 Oct. 2021
Did You Know?
People who demonstrate meritorious behavior certainly “earn” our respect, and you can use that fact to remember that meritorious comes from the Latin verb merēre, which means “to earn.” Nowadays, the rewards earned for meritorious acts are likely to be of an immaterial nature: gratitude, admiration, praise, etc. But that wasn’t always so. The history of meritorious recalls a reward more concrete in nature: money. In Latin, meritorious literally means “bringing in money.”