Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
  • noun A group of leaders or officeholders selected on the basis of individual ability or achievement.
  • noun Leadership by such a group.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A form of social system in which power goes to those with superior intellects.
  • noun The belief that rulers should be chosen for their superior abilities and not because of their wealth or birth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Rule by merit, and talent. By extension, now often used to describe a type of society where wealth, income, and social status are assigned through competition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the belief that rulers should be chosen for their superior abilities and not because of their wealth or birth
  • noun a form of social system in which power goes to those with superior intellects

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

merit, from Latin mereō ("earn") + -cracy, from Ancient Greek κράτος (kratos, "strength, power").

Examples

Comments

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  • a social system that give other people opportunities, advantage and chance based on their skills and abilitites rather than their credibility, seniority or wealth.

    December 11, 2006

  • I can think of many areas of society where a meritocracy is desperately needed.

    March 28, 2007