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Word of the Day
Friday, December 12, 2003

Definitions for meretricious

  1. Of or pertaining to prostitutes; having to do with prostitutes.
  2. Alluring by vulgar or flashy display; gaudily and deceitfully ornamental; tawdry; as, "meretricious dress."
  3. Based on pretense or insincerity; as, "a meretricious argument."

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Citations for meretricious
Let us be thought over-much plain and simple, even bare, rather than gaudy, flashy, cheap and meretricious. Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City
The shiny marble, bronze and brass, the gilded building crowns, the gaudy Atlantic City casinos, the spangled showgirls: it all adds up in their eyes to vulgar excess, an unsophisticate's delight in meretricious baubles. Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
Origin of meretricious
Meretricious comes from Latin meretricius, from from meretrix, meretric-, prostitute, from merere, to earn, to deserve. It is related to merit, to earn, to deserve.