Merits



[mer-it] /ˈmɛr ɪt/

noun
1.
claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.
2.
something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.:
The book’s only merit is its sincerity.
3.
merits, the inherent rights and wrongs of a matter, as a lawsuit, unobscured by procedural details, technicalities, personal feelings, etc.:
The case will be decided on its merits alone.
4.
Often, merits. the state or fact of deserving; desert:
to treat people according to their merits.
5.
Roman Catholic Church. worthiness of spiritual reward, acquired by righteous acts made under the influence of grace.
6.
Obsolete. something that is deserved, whether good or bad.
verb (used with object)
7.
to be worthy of; deserve.
verb (used without object)
8.
Chiefly Theology. to acquire merit.
adjective
9.
based on merit:
a merit raise of $25 a week.
/ˈmɛrɪts/
plural noun
1.
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
/ˈmɛrɪt/
noun
1.
worth or superior quality; excellence: work of great merit
2.
(often pl) a deserving or commendable quality or act: judge him on his merits
3.
(Christianity) spiritual credit granted or received for good works
4.
the fact or state of deserving; desert
5.
an obsolete word for reward
verb -its, -iting, -ited
6.
(transitive) to be worthy of; deserve: he merits promotion
n.

c.1200, “spiritual credit” (for good works, etc.); c.1300, “spiritual reward,” from Old French merite “wages, pay, reward; thanks; merit, moral worth, that which assures divine pity,” and directly from Latin meritum “a merit, service, kindness, benefit, favor; worth, value, importance,” neuter of meritus, past participle of merere, meriri “to earn, deserve, acquire, gain,” from PIE root *(s)mer- “to allot, assign” (cf. Greek meros “part, lot,” moira “share, fate,” moros “fate, destiny, doom,” Hittite mark “to divide” a sacrifice).

Sense of “worthiness, excellence” is from early 14c.; from late 14c. as “condition or conduct that deserves either reward or punishment;” also “a reward, benefit.” Related: Merits. Merit system attested from 1880. Merit-monger was in common use 16c.-17c. in a sense roughly of “do-gooder.”
v.

late 15c., “to be entitled to,” from Middle French meriter (Modern French mériter), from merite (n.), or directly from Latin meritare “to earn, yield,” frequentative of mereri “to earn (money);” also “to serve as a soldier” (see merit (n.)). Related: Merited; meriting.
see: on its merits

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