- The definition of merit is an excellent achievement, honor, value or quality that is deserving of approval.
An example of merit is someone receiving an award for their charity work.
merit definition by Webster's New World
- the state, fact, or quality of deserving well or, sometimes, ill; desert
- worth; value; excellence
- something deserving reward, praise, or gratitude
- a reward or honor given for superior qualities or conduct; mark, badge, etc. awarded for excellence
- intrinsic rightness or wrongness apart from formalities, emotional considerations, etc.: to decide a case on its merits
Origin: Old French merite ; from Classical Latin meritum ; from meritus, past participle of merere, to deserve, earn, akin to mereri, to serve for hire ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)mer-, to remember, care (hence provide for, allot a share to) from source mourn, Classical Latin memor, mora, Classical Greek meros, a part, moira, lot, fate
- meritless adjective
merit definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- 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.
- Demonstrated ability or achievement: promotions based on merit alone.
- An aspect of character or behavior deserving approval or disapproval. Often used in the plural: judging people according to their merits.
- Christianity Spiritual credit granted for good works.
- meritsa. Law A party's strict legal rights, excluding jurisdictional, personal, or technical aspects.b. The factual content of a matter, apart from emotional, contextual, or formal considerations.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French merite, reward or punishment, from Latin meritum, from neuter past participle of merēre, to deserve; see (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots.
- merˈit·less adjective
merit - Legal Definition
- The substantive elements of a claim or defense.
- The validity of a claim or defense (as in “the defense of impossibility is without merit”).