n. pl. mer·i·toc·ra·cies
1. A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
a. A group of leaders or officeholders selected on the basis of individual ability or achievement.
b. Leadership by such a group.
merit·o·crat′ (-ĭ-tə-krăt′) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.