Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Demerit

 Del’uges (3 syl.).Demijohn (A). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Demerit
 
has reversed its original meaning (Latin, demereo, to merit, to deserve). Hence Plautus, Demertas dare laudas (to accord due praise); Ovid, Numna culta demeruisse; Livy, demerri beneficio civitatem. The de- is intensive, as in “de-mand,” “describe,” “de-claim,” etc.; not the privative deorsum, as in the word “de-fame.”
       
“My demerits [deserts]
       
May speak unbonneted.”
   1
       
Shakespeare: Othello, i. 2.
 


 Del’uges (3 syl.).Demijohn (A). 

 
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