American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious ornamentation. See Synonyms at gaudy1.
- adj. Plausible but false or insincere; specious: a meretricious argument.
- adj. Of or relating to prostitutes or prostitution: meretricious relationships.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to prostitutes; wanton; libidinous.
- Alluring by false attractions; having a gaudy but deceitful appearance; tawdry; showy: as, meretricious dress or ornaments.
- adj. obsolete Of, or relating to prostitutes or prostitution.
- adj. Tastelessly gaudy; superficially attractive but having no substance; falsely alluring.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to prostitutes; having to do with harlots; lustful.
- adj. Resembling the arts of a harlot; alluring by false show; gaudily and deceitfully ornamental; tawdry.
- adj. Deceptive or based on deception; seeming plausible, but based on pretense or insincerity; deceptive; misleading; insincere; specious.
- adj. based on pretense; deceptively pleasing
- adj. tastelessly showy
- adj. like or relating to a prostitute
- From Latin meretrīcius, from meretrīx ("harlot, prostitute"), from mereō ("earn, deserve, merit") (English merit) + -trīx ("(female agent)") (English -trix). (Wiktionary)
- Latin meretrīcius, of prostitutes, from meretrīx, meretrīc-, prostitute, from merēre, to earn money; see (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Persiani is more generally a favorite here; she is indeed skilful both as an actress and in the management of her voice, but I find her expression meretricious, her singing mechanical.”
“The sphere opposite to it is called meretricious with such women, and adulterous with such men; and as such men and women are in hell, this sphere is from thence: but of this sphere there is also much variety, and hence there are several species of it; and such a species is attracted and appropriated by a man (_vir_) as is agreeable to him, and as is conformable and correspondent with his peculiar temper and disposition.”
“Also in the Telegraph, David Selbourne wields the bludgeon with tremendous style, although I'm going to have to look up 'meretricious'.”
“It is this same taste, which, in that solemn commemoration of the death of their king, the _service solennel_ for Louis XVI. contrived to introduce a species of affected parade, -- a detailed and theatrical sort of grief, -- a kind of meretricious mummery of sorrow, which banished all the feelings, and almost completely destroyed the impression which such a scene in any other country would inevitably have produced.”
“Moreover, as the parties 'subsequent cohabitation could not be termed "meretricious," and the relationship between the parties was not tainted by the fact that the male partner was married to someone else at that time; (2) an agreement between a cohabitating adult couple is enforceable to the extent it is not based upon a relationship proscribed by law, or upon a promise to marry.”
“There is now a disproportionate amount of meretricious material aimed at appealing to public prurience, most of which revolves around the philandering of celebrities," he argues.”
“So an insincere smile becomes cheesy; from that anything shallow, phony or meretricious.”
“There is now a disproportionate amount of meretricious material aimed at appealing to public prurience, most of which revolves around the philandering of celebrities.”
“It may have made a tolerable movie in 1968 but, seen on stage, it looks hollow and meretricious.”
“It is impossible to know whether Mr. Goodman and Ms. Huthins are now engaged in a meretricious relationship or whether they have assumed a more typical father-daughter relationship.”
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