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meretricious

[ mer-i-trish-uhs ]
/ ˌmɛr ɪˈtrɪʃ əs /
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See synonyms for: meretricious / meretriciousness on Thesaurus.com

adjective

alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry.
based on pretense, deception, or insincerity.
pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute.

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Origin of meretricious

1620–30; <Latin meretrīcius of, pertaining to prostitutes, derivative of meretrīx prostitute, equivalent to mere-, stem of merēre to earn + -trīx -trix; see -ous

OTHER WORDS FROM meretricious

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH meretricious

meritorious, meretricious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for meretricious

  • If not touched by city elegance, neither is it infected by city meretriciousness; it is sweet, wholesome country.

    Literary and Social Essays|George William Curtis
  • She felt that she was a living part of John's meretriciousness.

    Leonora|Arnold Bennett
  • The meretriciousness of women and their love of luxury are denounced.

    Folkways|William Graham Sumner
  • There was a suggestion of meretriciousness in the tinted lips and the pretence of colour on the charming face.

    The Hand in the Dark|Arthur J. Rees

British Dictionary definitions for meretricious

meretricious
/ (ˌmɛrɪˈtrɪʃəs) /

adjective

superficially or garishly attractive
insinceremeretricious praise
archaic of, like, or relating to a prostitute

Derived forms of meretricious

meretriciously, adverbmeretriciousness, noun

Word Origin for meretricious

C17: from Latin merētrīcius, from merētrix prostitute, from merēre to earn money
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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