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.
Conversational No-Nos To Avoid During The HolidaysRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of merit system
First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for merit system
US the system of employing and promoting civil servants solely on the basis of ability rather than patronageCompare spoils system
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