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Related to merit: merit system
on the merits
According to or based on facts or qualities essential to a person or situation, as opposed to circumstantial or technical details. Usually used in reference to a decision by a judge in a legal case. The defense filed a motion for dismissal based on the prosecution's failure to include the new evidence in the discovery phase, but the judged ruled that the case would be heard on the merits.
on (someone's or something's) (own) merits
Objectively based on or due to someone's or something's actual qualities, actions, etc. (as opposed to other, less objective factors). I can assure you that she got the job on her own merits and not because she is the CEO's daughter.
judge one on one's own merits
to evaluate one on one's own good and bad points and no one else's. Please judge Janet on her own merits. I was judged on my own merits.
judge something on its own merits
to evaluate something on its own good and bad points and nothing else. You must judge this proposal on its own merits. The proposal has not been judged on its own merits.
on its merits
Also, on one's merits or according to one's merits . With regard only to the intrinsic quality of something or someone. For example, Who supports it doesn't matter; we have to consider the idea solely on its merits, or The agency doesn't care about her references but wants to hire candidates according to their merits . [Late 1800s]