Word of the Day: Meritocracy

Definitions of meritocracy:

  • 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


noun \ˌmer-ə-ˈtä-krə-sē\

plural mer·i·toc·ra·cies

Definition of MERITOCRACY

1:  a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement
2:  leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria
mer·it·o·crat·ic adjective


1merit + -o- + -cracy

First Known Use: 1958
  • For the first time in the 20th century, Britain’s agonisingly slow progress towards meritocracy went into reverse.
  • What is happening to the campaigning steamroller that was going to propel the new prophets of technocratic and meritocracy craving Labor into power?
  • Many liberal democracies, Britain included, justify wide disparities in the income levels of the rich and poor in terms of a doctrine of meritocracy.
  • In the earlier article, Herrnstein argued that our society is a meritocracy where not only does the cream rise to the top, but it starts near the top from day one.
  • Social mobility will therefore be high during the transition period to a meritocracy and as society becomes more equal.
  • If no one accuses me of saying that we’re living in a caste system or rigid class society I promise not to ask anyone to defend our society as a pure meritocracy.



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