merits


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mer·it

 (mĕr′ĭt)
n.
1.
a. Superior quality or worth; excellence: a proposal of some merit; an ill-advised plan without merit.
b. A quality deserving praise or approval; virtue: a store having the merit of being open late.
2. Demonstrated ability or achievement: promotions based on merit alone.
3. often merits An aspect of character or behavior deserving approval or disapproval: judging people according to their merits.
4. In various religions, spiritual credit granted for good works.
5. merits
a. Law The factors to be considered in making a substantive decision in a case, independent of procedural or technical aspects: a trial on the merits.
b. The factual content of a matter, apart from emotional, contextual, or formal considerations.
v. mer·it·ed, mer·it·ing, mer·its
v.tr.
To earn; deserve. See Synonyms at earn.
v.intr.
To be worthy or deserving: Pupils are rewarded or corrected, as they merit.

[Middle English, from Old French merite, reward or punishment, from Latin meritum, from neuter past participle of merēre, to deserve; see (s)mer- in Indo-European roots.]

mer′it·less adj.

merits

(ˈmɛrɪts)
pl n
1. (Law) the actual and intrinsic rights and wrongs of an issue, esp in a law case, as distinct from extraneous matters and technicalities
2. on its merits on the intrinsic qualities or virtues
References in classic literature ?
Then the curtain fell, and the audience reposed and ate candy while discussing the merits of the play.
While the common herd stood aloof, in deference to the quarters of Webb, the figure we have described stalked into the center of the domestics, freely expressing his censures or commendations on the merits of the horses, as by chance they displeased or satisfied his judgment.
As soon as General Clark, then at the Falls of the Ohio, who was ever our ready friend, and merits the love and gratitude of all his country-men, understood the circumstances of this unfortunate action, he ordered an expedition, with all possible haste, to pursue the savages, which was so expeditiously effected, that we overtook them within two miles of their towns, and probably might have obtained a great victory, had not two of their number met us about two hundred poles before we come up.
If a stranger were introduced into any miscellaneous metropolitan society, it would but slightly advance the general opinion of his merits, were he presented to the company as a harpooneer, say; and if in emulation of the naval officers he should append the initials S.
Various spectators, intending to purchase, or not intending, examining, and commenting on their various points and faces with the same freedom that a set of jockeys discuss the merits of a horse.
And that she should seem to consider me a spectacle, and totally overlook her own merits in that respect, was another puzzling thing, and a display of magnanimity, too, that was surprising in one so young.
The inner walls of the church were placarded with large mural tablets of copper, bearing engraved inscriptions celebrating the merits of old Heilbronn worthies of two or three centuries ago, and also bearing rudely painted effigies of themselves and their families tricked out in the queer costumes of those days.
Housewives looked at Emma Jane and desired no soap; listened to her description of its merits, and still desired none.
He was looked on as sufficiently belonging to the place to make his merits and prospects a kind of common concern.
one of these days (when I am dead and gone), as ideas enlarge and enlightenment progresses, the abstract merits of the profession now called swindl ing will be recognized.
At length, a person better informed on the merits of the case, tumbled against him, and from this person he learned that the funeral was the funeral of one Roger Cly.
It reminded me of our old acquaintance; it seemed the natural sequel of it; it showed me that he was unchanged; it relieved me of any uneasiness I might have felt, in comparing my merits with his, and measuring my claims upon his friendship by any equal standard; above all, it was a familiar, unrestrained, affectionate demeanour that he used towards no one else.