Merit means "worthiness or excellence." If you receive a certificate of merit in school, you are being recognized for doing a good job. As a verb, merit means "deserve." Your certificate might merit a prominent place on your bulletin board!

You will often hear the phrases merit-based promotion and merit-based pay, which come up when employees are pushing against a system in which time on the job––and not job performance––determines when workers are promoted and how much they are paid. Using the word merit suggests impartiality and objectivity––such as when you swear off a prejudiced approach to something and vow to "judge it on its merits."

Definitions of merit
  1. noun
    the quality of being deserving (e.g., deserving assistance)
    synonyms: deservingness, meritoriousness
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    type of:
    the quality or state of having merit or value
  2. noun
    any admirable quality or attribute
    “work of great merit
    synonyms: virtue
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    demerit, fault
    a quality or feature deserving censure
    type of:
    the quality that renders something desirable or valuable or useful
  3. verb
    be worthy or deserving
    synonyms: deserve
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    have it coming
    deserve (either good or bad)
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
Word Family

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