- alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry.
- based on pretense, deception, or insincerity.
- pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute.
Origin of meretricious
SynonymsSee more synonyms for meretricious on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for meretricious
Now that Laura has been revealed to be little more than a collection of notes, the debate seems silly, meretricious.The Nabokov Mess
November 22, 2009
It is so beautiful that I'm dreadfully afraid it is meretricious.A Venetian June
There is not a meretricious or humiliating book in the whole collection.The Greatest English Classic
Cleland Boyd McAfee
There is nothing showy or clever, nothing cheap or meretricious in all their work.Chats on Royal Copenhagen Porcelain
She was half-angry with him in the carriage, and said something about meretricious manners.Barchester Towers
She fought against it from an instinctive feeling that it was meretricious.Coquette
- superficially or garishly attractive
- insinceremeretricious praise
- archaic of, like, or relating to a prostitute
Word Origin and History for meretricious
1620s, "pertaining to harlots," from Latin meretricius "of or pertaining to prostitutes," from meretrix (genitive meretricis) "prostitute," literally "woman who earns money," from merere, mereri "to earn, gain" (see merit (n.)). Meaning "gaudily alluring" is from 1630s. Related: Meretriciously; meretriciousness.