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 ?
Who was he, after all, that he should imagine that he had won on his personal merits a girl like Elizabeth Boyd?
These being her Ladyship's personal merits, impartial history must acknowledge, on the list of her defects, a total want of tact and taste in her attire.
She speedily comprehended all his merits; the persuasion of his regard for Elinor perhaps assisted her penetration; but she really felt assured of his worth: and even that quietness of manner, which militated against all her established ideas of what a young man's address ought to be, was no longer uninteresting when she knew his heart to be warm and his temper affectionate.
It must be admitted that there are exceptions to this rule; but these exceptions depend so entirely on accidental causes, that they cannot be considered as having any relation to the intrinsic merits or demerits of a constitution.
Though some skeptics smiled when told of Berg's merits, it could not be denied that he was a painstaking and brave officer, on excellent terms with his superiors, and a moral young man with a brilliant career before him and an assured position in society.
"And how, then, will you recognise merit?" asked Dirk, red in the face with anger.
Neither Mr Allworthy's house, nor his heart, were shut against any part of mankind, but they were both more particularly open to men of merit. To say the truth, this was the only house in the kingdom where you was sure to gain a dinner by deserving it.
Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public.
A general confessed, in my presence, "that he got a victory purely by the force of cowardice and ill conduct;" and an admiral, "that, for want of proper intelligence, he beat the enemy, to whom he intended to betray the fleet." Three kings protested to me, "that in their whole reigns they never did once prefer any person of merit, unless by mistake, or treachery of some minister in whom they confided; neither would they do it if they were to live again:" and they showed, with great strength of reason, "that the royal throne could not be supported without corruption, because that positive, confident, restiff temper, which virtue infused into a man, was a perpetual clog to public business."