meretricious


mer·e·tri·cious

adjective \ˌmer-ə-ˈtri-shəs\

: attractive in a cheap or false way

Full Definition of MERETRICIOUS

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>
mer·e·tri·cious·ly adverb
mer·e·tri·cious·ness noun

Origin of MERETRICIOUS

Latin meretricius, from meretric-, meretrix prostitute, from merēre to earn — more at merit
First Known Use: 1626

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