Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Merestone noun A stone designating a limit or boundary; a landmark. Bacon.

Meretricious adjective [ Latin meretricius , from meretrix , -icis , a prostitute, lit., one who earns money, i. e. , by prostitution, from merere to earn, gain. See Merit .]
1. Of or pertaining to prostitutes; having to do with harlots; lustful; as, meretricious traffic.

2. Resembling the arts of a harlot; alluring by false show; gaudily and deceitfully ornamental; tawdry; as, meretricious dress or ornaments.

-- Mer`e*tri"cious*ly , adverb -- Mer`e*tri"cious*ness , noun

Merganser noun [ Spanish mergánsar , from mergo a diver (L. mergus , from mergere to dip, dive) + ánsar goose, Latin anser .] (Zoology) Any bird of the genus Merganser , and allied genera. They are allied to the ducks, but have a sharply serrated bill.

» The red-breasted merganser ( Merganser serrator ) inhabits both hemispheres. It is called also sawbill , harle , and sheldrake . The American merganser ( M. Americanus .) and the hooded merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ) are well-known species. -- White merganser , the smew or white nun.

Merge (mẽrj) transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Merged (mẽrjd); present participle & verbal noun Merging (mẽr"jĭng).] [ Latin mergere , mersum . Confer Emerge , Immerse , Marrow .] To cause to be swallowed up; to immerse; to sink; to absorb.

To merge all natural . . . sentiment in inordinate vanity.
Burke.

Whig and Tory were merged and swallowed up in the transcendent duties of patriots.
De Quincey.

Merge intransitive verb To be sunk, swallowed up, or lost.

Native irresolution had merged in stronger motives.
I. Taylor.

Merger noun
1. One who, or that which, merges.

2. (Law) An absorption of one estate, or one contract, in another, or of a minor offense in a greater.

Mericarp noun [ Greek me`ros a part + karpo`s fruit.] (Botany) One carpel of an umbelliferous fruit. See Cremocarp .

Meride noun [ Greek ... a part.] (Biol.) A permanent colony of cells or plastids which may remain isolated, like Rotifer, or may multiply by gemmation to form higher aggregates, termed zoides . Perrier.

Meridian adjective [ French méridien , Latin meridianus pertaining to noon, from meridies noon, midday, for older medidies ; medius mid, middle + dies day. See Mid , and Diurnal .]
1. Being at, or pertaining to, midday; belonging to, or passing through, the highest point attained by the sun in his diurnal course. " Meridian hour." Milton.

Tables . . . to find the altitude meridian .
Chaucer.

2. Pertaining to the highest point or culmination; as, meridian splendor.

Meridian noun [ French méridien . See Meridian , adjective ]


1. Midday; noon.

2. Hence: The highest point, as of success, prosperity, or the like; culmination.

I have touched the highest point of all my greatness,
And from that full meridian of my glory
I haste now to my setting.
Shak.

3. (Astron.) A great circle of the sphere passing through the poles of the heavens and the zenith of a given place. It is crossed by the sun at midday.

4. (Geology) A great circle on the surface of the earth, passing through the poles and any given place; also, the half of such a circle included between the poles.

» The planes of the geographical and astronomical meridians coincide. Meridians, on a map or globe, are lines drawn at certain intervals due north and south, or in the direction of the poles.

Calculated for , or fitted to , or adapted to , the meridian of , suited to the local circumstances, capabilities, or special requirements of.

All other knowledge merely serves the concerns of this life, and is fitted to the meridian there of .
Sir M. Hale.

-- First meridian , the meridian from which longitudes are reckoned. The meridian of Greenwich is the one commonly employed in calculations of longitude by geographers, and in actual practice, although in various countries other and different meridians, chiefly those which pass through the capitals of the countries, are occasionally used; as, in France, the meridian of Paris; in the United States, the meridian of Washington, etc. -- Guide meridian (Public Land Survey) , a line, marked by monuments, running North and South through a section of country between other more carefully established meridians called principal meridians , used for reference in surveying. [ U.S.] -- Magnetic meridian , a great circle, passing through the zenith and coinciding in direction with the magnetic needle, or a line on the earth's surface having the same direction. -- Meridian circle (Astron.) , an instrument consisting of a telescope attached to a large graduated circle and so mounted that the telescope revolves like the transit instrument in a meridian plane. By it the right ascension and the declination of a star may be measured in a single observation. -- Meridian instrument (Astron.) , any astronomical instrument having a telescope that rotates in a meridian plane. -- Meridian of a globe , or Brass meridian , a graduated circular ring of brass, in which the artificial globe is suspended and revolves.

Meridional adjective [ French méridional , Latin meridionalis , from meridies midday. See Meridian .]


1. Of or pertaining to the meridian.

2. Having a southern aspect; southern; southerly.

Offices that require heat . . . should be meridional .
Sir H. Wotton.

Meridional distance , the distance or departure from the meridian; the easting or westing. -- Meridional parts , parts of the meridian in Mercator's projection, corresponding to each minute of latitude from the equator up to 70 or 80 degrees; tabulated numbers representing these parts used in projecting charts, and in solving cases in Mercator's sailing.

Meridionality noun
1. The state of being in the meridian.

2. Position in the south; aspect toward the south.

Meridionally adverb In the direction of the meridian.

Merils noun [ French mérelle , marelle , marelles , Late Latin marella , marrella . Confer Morris the game.] A boy's play, called also fivepenny morris . See Morris .

Meringue (F. mẽ`răN"g'; E. mĕ*răng") noun [ French] A delicate pastry made of powdered sugar and the whites of eggs whipped up, -- with jam or cream added.

Merino adjective [ Spanish merino moving from pasture to pasture, from merino a royal judge and superintendent or inspector of sheep walks, Late Latin merinus , from majorinus , i. e., major vill..., from Latin major greater. See Major . Merino sheep are driven at certain seasons from one part of Spain to another, in large flocks, for pasturage.]
1. Of or pertaining to a variety of sheep with very fine wool, originally bred in Spain.

2. Made of the wool of the merino sheep.

Merino noun ; plural Merinos . [ Spanish ]
1. (Zoology) A breed of sheep originally from Spain, noted for the fineness of its wool.

2. A fine fabric of merino wool.

Merismatic adjective [ Greek ... division, from ... part.] (Biol.) Dividing into cells or segments; characterized by separation into two or more parts or sections by the formation of internal partitions; as, merismatic growth, where one cell divides into many.

Meristem noun [ Greek ... divisible.] (Botany) A tissue of growing cells, or cells capable of further division.

Merit noun [ French mérite , Latin meritum , from merere , mereri , to deserve, merit; probably originally, to get a share; akin to Greek ... part, ... fate, doom, ... to receive as one's portion. Confer Market , Merchant , Mercer , Mercy .]
1. The quality or state of deserving well or ill; desert.

Here may men see how sin hath his merit .
Chaucer.

Be it known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that others do; and when we fall,
We answer other's merits in our name.
Shak.

2. Esp. in a good sense: The quality or state of deserving well; worth; excellence.

Reputation is . . . oft got without merit , and lost without deserving.
Shak.

To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit , but his own.
Pope.

3. Reward deserved; any mark or token of excellence or approbation; as, his teacher gave him ten merits .

Those laurel groves, the merits of thy youth.
Prior.

Merit transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Merited ; present participle & verbal noun Meriting .] [ French mériter , Latin meritare , v. intens. from merere . See Merit , noun ]
1. To earn by service or performance; to have a right to claim as reward; to deserve; sometimes, to deserve in a bad sense; as, to merit punishment. "This kindness merits thanks." Shak.

2. To reward. [ R. & Obsolete] Chapman.

Merit intransitive verb To acquire desert; to gain value; to receive benefit; to profit. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.

Meritable adjective Deserving of reward. [ R.]

Meritedly adverb By merit; deservedly.

Merithal Mer`i*thal"lus noun [ New Latin merithallus , from Greek ..., or ..., a part + ... a young shoot.] (Botany) Same as Internode .

Meritmonger noun One who depends on merit for salvation. [ Obsolete] Milner.

Meritorious adjective [ Latin meritorius that brings in money.] Possessing merit; deserving of reward or honor; worthy of recompense; valuable.

And meritorious shall that hand be called,
Canonized, and worshiped as a saint.
Shak.

-- Mer`i*to"ri*ous*ly , adverb -- Mer`i*to"ri*ous*ness , noun

Meritory adjective Meritorious. [ Obsolete]

Meritot noun A play of children, in swinging on ropes, or the like, till they are dizzy.

Merk noun [ See Marc .] An old Scotch silver coin; a mark or marc. [ Scot.]

Merk noun A mark; a sign. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Merke adjective Murky. [ Obsolete] Piers Plowman.

Merkin noun Originally, a wig; afterwards, a mop for cleaning cannon.

Merl, Merle noun [ French merle , Latin merula , merulus . Confer Ousel .] (Zoology) The European blackbird. See Blackbird . Drayton.

Merlin noun [ Middle English merlion , French émerillon ; confer Old High German smirl , German schmerl ; probably from Latin merula blackbird. Confer Merle .] (Zoology) A small European falcon ( Falco lithofalco , or F. æsalon ).

Merling noun (Zoology) The European whiting.

Merlon noun [ French, perhaps from Latin moerus , for murus a wall, through (assumed) dim. moerulus .] (Fort.) One of the solid parts of a battlemented parapet; a battlement. See Illust. of Battlement .

Merluce noun [ French merluche , merlus .] (Zoology) The European hake; -- called also herring hake and sea pike .

Mermaid noun [ Anglo-Saxon mere lake, sea. See Mere lake, and maid .] A fabled marine creature, typically represented as having the upper part like that of a woman, and the lower like a fish; a sea nymph, sea woman, or woman fish.

» Chaucer uses this word as equivalent to the siren of the ancients.

Mermaid fish (Zoology) the angel fish ( Squatina ). -- Mermaid's glove (Zoology) , a British branched sponge somewhat resembling a glove. -- Mermaid's head (Zoology) , a European spatangoid sea urchin ( Echinocardium cordatum ) having some resemblance to a skull. -- Mermaid weed (Botany) , an aquatic herb with dentate or pectinate leaves ( Proserpinaca palustris and P. pectinacea ).

Merman noun ; plural Mermen The male corresponding to mermaid ; a sea man, or man fish.

Meroblast noun [ Greek ... part + -blast .] (Biol.) An ovum, as that of a mammal, only partially composed of germinal matter, that is, consisting of both a germinal portion and an albuminous or nutritive one; -- opposed to holoblast .

Meroblastic adjective (Biol.) Consisting only in part of germinal matter; characterized by partial segmentation only; as, meroblastic ova, in which a portion of the yolk only undergoes fission; meroblastic segmentation; -- opposed to holoblastic .

Merocele noun [ Greek ... thigh + ... tumor.] (Medicine) Hernia in the thigh; femoral hernia .

Meroistic adjective [ Greek ... part + ... an egg.] (Zoology) Applied to the ovaries of insects when they secrete vitelligenous cells, as well as ova.

Meropidan noun [ Latin merops a bee-eating bird, Greek me`rops .] (Zoology) One of a family of birds ( Meropidæ ), including the bee-eaters.

Meropodite noun [ Greek ... thigh + poy`s , podo`s , foot.] (Zoology) The fourth joint of a typical appendage of Crustacea.

Merorganization noun [ Greek ... part + English organization .] Organization in part. [ R.]

Meros noun [ New Latin , from Greek ... part.] (Architecture) The plain surface between the channels of a triglyph. [ Written also merus .] Weale.

Merosome noun [ Greek ... part + - some body.] (Zoology) One of the serial segments, or metameres, of which the bodies of vertebrate and articulate animals are composed.