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Definition of "meretricious" [mer•e•tri•cious]

  • Attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious ornamentation. See Synonyms at gaudy1. (adjective)
  • Plausible but false or insincere; specious: a meretricious argument. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to prostitutes or prostitution: meretricious relationships. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "meretricious" in a sentence
  • "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'."