Etymology
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meritorious (adj.)

early 15c., "deserving of divine grace," from Latin meritorius "that for which money is paid, that by which money is earned," from meritus, past participle of merere "to earn" (from PIE root *(s)mer- (2) "to get a share of something"). From late 15c. (Caxton) as "deserving of reward, worthy of praise or honor." Related: Meritoriously; meritoriousness.

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*(s)mer- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to get a share of something." 

It forms all or part of: demerit; emeritus; isomer; isomeric; meretricious; merism; meristem; merit; meritorious; mero-; monomer; Moira; polymer; turmeric.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek meros "part, lot," moira "share, fate," moros "fate, destiny, doom;" Hittite mark "to divide" a sacrifice; Latin merere, meriri "to earn, deserve, acquire, gain."

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brevet (n.)
mid-14c., from Old French brievet "letter, note, piece of paper; papal indulgence" (13c.), diminutive of bref "letter, note" (see brief (n.)). Military sense of "a commission to a higher rank without advance in command" (for meritorious service, etc.) is from 1680s.
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