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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
To earn; deserve. See Synonyms at earn.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.merited - properly deserved; "a merited success"
unmerited - not merited or deserved; "received an unmerited honorary degree"


adjective deserved, justified, warranted, just, earned, appropriate, entitled, rightful, condign, rightly due His selection for the team was a surprise, but a merited one.


Consistent with prevailing or accepted standards or circumstances:
References in periodicals archive ?
The stature of the United States and the respect that it merited and merits among other nations is far more important than whether we approve or disapprove of the character of a foreign head of state.