1

mercenary

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

Definition of mercenary

plural

mercenaries

  1. :  one that serves merely for wages; especially :  a soldier hired into foreign service mercenaries who guaranteed the success of the rebellion — B. F. Reilly

Examples of mercenary in a Sentence

  1. an army of foreign mercenaries

Recent Examples of mercenary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mercenary'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of mercenary

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


2

mercenary

adjective mer·ce·nary

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

mercenarily

play \ˌmər-sə-ˈner-ə-lē, -ˈne-rə-\ adverb

mercenariness

play \ˈmər-sə-ˌner-ē-nəs, -ˌne-rē-\ noun

Examples of mercenary in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of mercenary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mercenary'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of mercenary

see 1mercenary


MERCENARY Defined for English Language Learners

mercenary

play
noun

Definition of mercenary for English Language Learners

  • : 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

mercenary

adjective

Definition of mercenary for English Language Learners

  • : hired to fight

  • : caring only about making money


MERCENARY Defined for Kids

1

mercenary

play
noun mer·ce·nary \ˈmər-sə-ˌner-ē\

Definition of mercenary for Students

plural

mercenaries

  1. :  a soldier paid by a foreign country to fight in its army


2

mercenary

play
adjective mer·ce·nary

Definition of mercenary for Students

  1. 1 :  doing something only for the pay or reward

  2. 2 :  greedy for money I may be mercenary, but I hate poverty … — Louisa May Alcott, Little Women



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