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merit system

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noun
  1. a system or policy whereby people are promoted or rewarded on the basis of ability and achievement rather than because of seniority, quotas, patronage, or the like.
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Origin of merit system

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for merit system

merit system

noun
  1. US the system of employing and promoting civil servants solely on the basis of ability rather than patronageCompare spoils system
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012