Definition of demerit noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//diːˈmerɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//diːˈmerɪt//
    (formal) School life
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  1. 1[usually plural] a fault in something or a disadvantage of something the merits and demerits of the scheme
  2. 2(North American English) a mark on somebody’s school record showing that they have done something wrong You'll get three demerits if you're caught smoking on school grounds. See related entries: School life
  3. Word Originlate 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’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: demerit