Essential Meaning of merit
1 : a good quality or feature that deserves to be praised The great merit [=advantage, strength] of this plan is its simplicity.
2 formal : the quality of being good, important, or useful : value or worth His ideas have (some) merit. She saw merit in both of the arguments. See More ExamplesTheir idea is without merit. = Their idea has no merit. The study has no scientific merit. Hiring decisions are based entirely on merit. [=people are hired because they have the skills to do the job well]
Full Definition of merit
(Entry 1 of 2)
1a : a praiseworthy quality : virtue But originality, as it is one of the highest, is also one of the rarest, of merits.— Edgar Allan Poe
b : character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem also : achievement … he composed a number of works of merit. — H. E. Starr
c : the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one's deserts Opinions of his merit vary.
d obsolete : reward or punishment due
2a merits plural : the substance of a legal case apart from matters of jurisdiction, procedure, or form The plaintiff … is entitled to have its claim decided here on its merits.— T. M. Maddes
b : individual significance or justification (see justification sense 1) The contention is without merit.— E. B. Denny
3 : spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits .,. the Crusades … did serve the desire to gain spiritual merit …— Jacques Barzun
merited; meriting; merits
Definition of merit (Entry 2 of 2)
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