Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: merite, from Latin meritum, from merere 'to deserve, earn'

merit

1 noun
     
mer‧it1
1 [countable] an advantage or good feature of something
merit of
The film has the merit of being short.
The merit of the report is its realistic assessment of the changes required.
The great merit of the project is its flexibility and low cost.
Each of these approaches to teaching has its merits.
Tonight's meeting will weigh up the relative merits of the two candidates.
2 [uncountable] formal a good quality that makes someone or something deserve praise:
There is never any merit in being second best.
have (some) merit/be of merit (=be good)
The suggestion has some merit.
on merit
Students are selected solely on merit (=because they are good).
artistic/literary merit
a film lacking any artistic merit
3

judge/consider etc something on its (own) merits

to judge something only on what you see when you look at it rather than on what you know from other people or things:
It's important to judge each case on its merits.

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