Deserve vs Demerit - What's the difference?

deserve | demerit |

As verbs the difference between deserve and demerit

is that deserve is to be entitled to, as a result of past actions; to be worthy to have while demerit is (archaic) to deserve.

As a noun demerit is

(senseid) a quality of being inadequate; a fault; a disadvantage.




  • To be entitled to, as a result of past actions; to be worthy to have.
  • :After playing so well, the team really deserved their win .
  • :After what he did, he deserved to go to prison .
  • :This argument deserves a closer examination.
  • *Bible, Job xi. 6
  • *:God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth .
  • *Thackeray
  • *:John Gay deserved to be a favourite.
  • (obsolete) To earn, win.
  • *1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , III.vii:
  • *:That gentle Lady, whom I loue and serue, / After long suit and weary seruicis, / Did aske me, how I could her loue deserue , / And how she might be sure, that I would neuer swerue.
  • (obsolete) To reward, to give in return for service.
  • *:
  • *:Gramercy saide the kynge / & I lyue sir Lambegus I shal deserue hit / And thenne sir Lambegus armed hym / and rode after as fast as he myghte
  • (obsolete) To serve; to treat; to benefit.
  • *Massinger
  • *:A man that hath / So well deserved me.
  • Synonyms

    * merit * See also

    Usage notes

    * This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive . See






    (en noun)
  • (senseid) A quality of being inadequate; a fault; a disadvantage
  • * Burke
  • They see no merit or demerit in any man or any action.
  • * Sir W. Temple
  • Secure, unless forfeited by any demerit or offense.
  • A mark given for bad conduct to a person attending an educational institution or serving in the army.
  • *2002 , , by G.W.Bush:
  • *:A few of you have followed in the path of the perfect West Point graduate, Robert E. Lee, who never received a single demerit' in four years. Some of you followed in the path of the imperfect graduate, Ulysses S. Grant, who had his fair share of ' demerits , and said the happiest day of his life was "the day I left West Point." (Laughter.)
  • That which one merits or deserves, either of good or ill; desert.
  • * Holland
  • By many benefits and demerits whereby they obliged their adherents, [they] acquired this reputation.


    * discredit


    * merit

    Derived terms

    * demerit point


    (en verb)
  • (archaic) To deserve.
  • * 1840 , Alexander Campbell, Dolphus Skinner, A discussion of the doctrines of the endless misery and universal salvation (page 351)
  • You hold that every sin is an infinite evil, demeriting endless punishment.
  • * Udall
  • If I have demerited any love or thanks.
  • (archaic) To depreciate or cry down.
  • * Bishop John Woolton
  • Faith by her own dignity and worthiness doth not demerit justice and righteousness; but receiveth and embraceth the same offered unto us in the gospel


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