- working or acting merely for money or other reward; venal.
- hired to serve in a foreign army, guerrilla organization, etc.
- a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.
- any hireling.
Origin of mercenary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mercenary
As a former agent himself, Horrigan hopes to disabuse renters of the notion that brokers are mercenary con artists.From a Broken Lease, a Dream NYC Home
September 17, 2014
“I did not have enough money to bribe the judge, so I decided to become a mercenary,” Mozhayev told a local reporter.The Kremlin’s Crazy Shock Troops
May 22, 2014
The scene ends with a Street Fighter-like battle between Captain America and a mercenary.How ‘Captain America’ Almost Got It Right but Ended Up Being a Dud
April 8, 2014
By mid-to-late evening, there was overwhelming evidence that Russia was using a mix of mercenary and conscript forces.Russia Stages a Coup in Crimea
March 1, 2014
A dreamy, blue-eyed rebel is approached by a mercenary wearing a scary mask.‘Sleepy Hollow’ Is TV’s Craziest, Most Over-the-Top New Show ... And You Should Watch It
October 8, 2013
De Launay was rich, of course, but he did not believe that mademoiselle was mercenary.
Is it that I am honored by having this mercenary drunkard for a husband?
But the most objectionable thing in the mass is its mercenary character.Roman Catholicism in Spain
But let us not waste time or thought on commercial or mercenary craft.Chit-Chat; Nirvana; The Searchlight
Mathew Joseph Holt
They resolved to collect bodies of mercenary troops, both infantry and horse.Hellenica
- influenced by greed or desire for gain
- of or relating to a mercenary or mercenaries
- a man hired to fight for a foreign army, etc
- rare any person who works solely for pay
Word Origin and History for mercenary
late 14c., "one who works only for hire," from Old French mercenaire "mercenary, hireling" (13c.) and directly from Latin mercenarius "one who does anything for pay," literally "hired, paid," from merces (genitive mercedis) "pay, reward, wages," from merx (see market (n.)).
1530s, from mercenary (n.), or in part from Latin mercenarius "hired, paid, serving for pay."