Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A voluntary misdeed that offends someone and therefore deserves some retribution or penalty. With reference to God, demerit is the effect of sin and consists in a loss of divine friendship and of the right to heaven for grave sin, and a weakening of the supernatural life through venial sin.