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Meretricious definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

MERETRI'CIOUS, a. [L. meretricius, from meretrix, a prostitute.]
1. Pertaining to prostitutes; such as in practiced by harlots; as meretricious arts.
2. Alluring by false show; worn for disguise; having a gaudy but deceitful appearance; false; as meretricious dress or ornaments.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

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

Merriam Webster's

adjective Etymology: Latin meretricius, from meretric-, meretrix prostitute, from mer?re to earn more at merit Date: 1626 1. of or relating to a prostitute ; having the nature of prostitution <meretricious relationships> 2. a. tawdrily and falsely attractive <the paradise they found was a piece of meretricious trash Carolyn See> b. superficially significant ; pretentious <scholarly names to provide fig-leaves of respectability for meretricious but stylish books Times Literary Supplement> Synonyms: see gaudy meretriciously adverb meretriciousness noun

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. 1 (of decorations, literary style, etc.) showily but falsely attractive. 2 of or befitting a prostitute. Derivatives: meretriciously adv. meretriciousness n. Etymology: L meretricius f. meretrix -tricis prostitute f. mereri be hired

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Meretricious Mer`e*tri"cious, a. [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.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

If you describe something as meretricious, you disapprove of it because although it looks attractive it is actually of little value. (FORMAL) ...vulgar, meretricious and shabby souvenirs. ADJ [disapproval]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. 1. Of harlots. 2. Libidinous, lustful. 3. Deceitful (by false show), spurious, false, sham, make-believe, tawdry, showy, gaudy.

Moby Thesaurus

Gongoresque, Johnsonian, affected, apparent, bedizened, beggarly, beneath contempt, big-sounding, blatant, brazen, brazenfaced, cheap, cheesy, chintzy, coarse, colorable, colored, colorful, common, contemptible, convoluted, crass, crude, crummy, deceptive, declamatory, delusive, delusory, despicable, earthy, elevated, euphuistic, extravagant, fallen, flagrant, flamboyant, flaming, flaring, flashy, flaunting, fulsome, garish, gaudy, gilded, gimcracky, glaring, gorgeous, grandiloquent, grandiose, grandisonant, gross, harlot, high-flowing, high-flown, high-flying, high-sounding, highfalutin, hustling, inkhorn, insincere, labyrinthine, lexiphanic, lofty, loud, lurid, magniloquent, mean, miserable, misleading, obscene, obtrusive, on the, on the town, orotund, ostensible, ostentatious, overdone, overelaborate, overinvolved, overwrought, paltry, pathetic, pave, pedantic, pitiable, pitiful, plausible, pompous, poor, pretentious, prostitute, prostituted, raw, rhetorical, ribald, rough, rubbishy, rude, sad, scarlet, screaming, scrubby, scruffy, scummy, scurvy, scuzzy, seeming, sensational, sensationalistic, sententious, shabby, shameless, shoddy, showy, sonorous, sorry, specious, spectacular, spurious, stilted, streetwalking, tall, tawdry, tinsel, tortuous, trashy, trumpery, two-for-a-cent, two-for-a-penny, twopenny, twopenny-halfpenny, valueless, vile, vulgar, whorish, worthless, wretched


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