merit system definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
a system of hiring and promoting people to civil service positions on the basis of merit as determined by competitive examinations
merit system definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The system of appointing and promoting civil service personnel on the basis of merit rather than political affiliation or loyalty.