—meritedly, adv. —meritless, adj./mer"it/, n.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. Rom. Cath. Ch. worthiness of spiritual reward, acquired by righteous acts made under the influence of grace.6. Obs. something that is deserved, whether good or bad.v.t.7. to be worthy of; deserve.v.i.8. Chiefly Theol. to acquire merit.adj.9. based on merit: a merit raise of $25 a week.[1175-1225; ME < L meritum act worthy of praise (or blame), n. use of neut. of meritus, ptp. of merere to earn]Syn. 1. value, credit. MERIT, DESERT, WORTH refer to the quality in a person, action, or thing that entitles recognition, esp. favorable recognition. MERIT is usually the excellence that entitles to praise: a person of great merit. DESERT is the quality that entitles one to a just reward: according to her deserts. WORTH is always used in a favorable sense and signifies inherent value or goodness: The worth of your contribution is incalculable.
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