From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishmeritmer‧it1 /ˈmerɪt/ ●●○ noun 1 [countable]GOOD POINT OR CHARACTERISTIC an advantage or good feature of somethingmerit 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.► see thesaurus at advantageRegisterMerit is used especially in formal contexts. In everyday English, people usually talk about the good points of something:The book does have its good points.2 [uncountable] formalDESERVE 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 merit3 → judge/consider etc something on its (own) meritsCOLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2verbshave meritBoth suggestions had some merit.discuss/debate the merits of something (=discuss whether or not something is a good idea)They were discussing the merits of sending soldiers to the area.consider/judge the merits of something (=think about whether or not something is a good idea)The committee is considering the merits of the proposal.assess/evaluate the merits of something (=to decide what is good about something using careful methods)Has any study assessed the merits of the two schools?question the merits of something (=not be sure if something is a good idea)People began to question the merits of nuclear energy.see little/no merit in something (=think that something is not a good idea)I can see no merit in violence. have its merits (=have some good qualities)Each idea has its merits.adjectivesartistic merit (=the qualities that make something good as a piece of art)What are the artistic merits of this statue?literary merit (=the qualities that make something good as a book, play, or poem)There was no literary merit in his poems.great meritIt seems to me that the idea has great merit.outstanding merit (=very great merit)The prize is given to students of outstanding merit.considerable merit (=a lot of merit)There is considerable merit in using this kind of approach.the relative/comparative merits of something (=the good qualities of something as compared to something else)She is an expert in the relative merits of spa waters.
Examples from the Corpusmerit• a merit scholarship• This involves identifying and describing all buildings of architectural merit and all objects of artistic, historic, literary and documentary value.• At the same time, some of the misconduct charges appear to have merit, according to officials.• There is obvious merit in good insulation, using only the most efficient kitchen appliances, heating systems and such.• When he failed to promote any women into his first cabinet he insisted he would only appoint on merit.• I think it will have some merit.• The committee is still considering the merits of the new proposals.• However the merit of Fei's book lies in its functionalist style.• The merits of the new health programme are gradually being recognized.• This was a vigorous defense of the bill and not without merit.relative merits• Within weeks after our arrival the managers of each department had begun to debate our relative merits.• In private, however, all are making judgements about the relative merits of each of the authorities.• First, we will need to consider the relative merits of selling the assets of the business as opposed to the shares.• Worse yet, they provide lots of ambiguity and material for debate on the relative merits of centralization and decentralization.• He lost all perspective on the relative merits of the jobs.• There is some debate as to the relative merits of homoeopathy and herbalism.• The relative merits of both approaches have to be considered when opting for a solution to a particular diagnostic problem.• The relative merits of free, natural and controlled language need to be evaluated.artistic/literary merit• But Sophie Ryder is a sculptor who finds artistic merit in the more mundane aspects of rural life.• The fifty-year-old display area is now to be replaced with a new space of suitably high artistic merit.• Does An exact copy of a Michelangelo statue lose artistic merit because it doesn't have his name on it.• Obviously, there is no literary merit in such rhymes.• For most novels of literary merit, neither the dualist nor the monist doctrine will be entirely satisfactory.• Membership of East Berlin's Akademie depended on government approval more than on artistic merit.meritmerit2 ●○○ verb [transitive] formal DESERVEto be good, important, or serious enough for praise or attention SYN deserve The results have been encouraging enough to merit further investigation. It’s a fascinating book which merits attention.Merit is not used in the progressive. You say: This suggestion merits serious consideration. ✗Don’t say: This suggestion is meriting serious consideration.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusmerit• Her business has become so famous that she felt its success story merited a corner display in her new museum.• Reality: Under new state guidelines, her situation rarely would merit an investigation.• At the outset two points merit emphasis.• The subject has an importance in the history of war at this period which merits emphasis.• Puisieulx Puisieulx is the smallest of the grand cru villages and certainly does not merit its exalted status.• Finally, one issue merits more detailed comment because of its implications for the entire Docklands community - housing.• The committee will decide whether the case merits more serious attention.• It is beyond me how it came To merit such enormous fame.Origin merit1 (1100-1200) Old French merite, from Latin meritum, from merere “to deserve, earn”