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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.
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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014