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meretricious Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective like or relating to a prostitute
    • meretricious relationships
  2. adjective satellite tastelessly showy
    garish; gaudy; brassy; tatty; tawdry; flash; cheap; flashy; tacky; gimcrack; loud; trashy.
    • a flash car
    • a flashy ring
    • garish colors
    • a gaudy costume
    • loud sport shirts
    • a meretricious yet stylish book
    • tawdry ornaments
  3. adjective satellite based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
    gilded; specious.
    • the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility
    • meretricious praise
    • a meretricious argument

Mer`e*tri"cious adjective
L. meretricius, from meretrix, -icis, a prostitute, lit., one who earns money, i. e., by prostitution, fr. merere to earn, gain. See Merit.
  1. Of or pertaining to prostitutes; having to do with harlots; lustful; as, meretricious traffic.
  2. Resembling the arts of a harlot; alluring by false show; gaudily and deceitfully ornamental; tawdry; as, meretricious dress or ornaments. -- Mer`e*tri"cious*ly, adv. -- Mer`e*tri"cious*ness, n.

Webster 1913