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1

mercenary

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noun mer·ce·nary \ˈmər-sə-ˌner-ē, -ne-rē\

Simple Definition of mercenary

  • : a soldier who is paid by a foreign country to fight in its army : a soldier who will fight for any group or country that hires him

Full Definition of mercenary

plural mer·ce·nar·ies

  1. :  one that serves merely for wages; especially :  a soldier hired into foreign service

Examples of mercenary

  1. an army of foreign mercenaries



Origin of mercenary

Middle English, from Latin mercenarius, irregular from merced-, merces wages — more at mercy


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with mercenary

actuary, adversary, airy-fairy, ancillary, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, January, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, sedentary, seminary, silverberry, solitary, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry


2

mercenary

adjective mer·ce·nary

Simple Definition of mercenary

  • : hired to fight

  • : caring only about making money

Full Definition of mercenary

  1. 1 :  serving merely for pay or sordid advantage :  venal; also :  greedy

  2. 2 :  hired for service in the army of a foreign country

mer·ce·nar·i·ly play \ˌmər-sə-ˈner-ə-lē, -ˈne-rə-\ adverb
mer·ce·nar·i·ness play \ˈmər-sə-ˌner-ē-nəs, -ˌne-rē-\ noun

Examples of mercenary

  1. His motives in choosing a career were purely mercenary.

  2. <they were a mercenary couple, who defined themselves not by what they were but by what they owned>



1532

First Known Use of mercenary

1532



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