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gaudy, valuable, genuine, authentic


GRE 4 (Graduate Record Examination), Deceit and Pretense, Fake and Insincere



How to pronounce meretricious (audio)


Dictionary definition of meretricious

Superficially attractive or appealing but lacks real value or substance.
"The meretricious smile hid the person's true intentions."

Detailed meaning of meretricious

It is often used to describe things that are cheap, gaudy, or insincere. For example, a meretricious object is one that is only valued for its appearance, or a meretricious person is one who is only valued for their superficial qualities. In literature, meretricious is often used to describe writing or speech that is showy, insincere, or lacking in real meaning. Meretricious can also be used to describe a situation or relationship that is based on deception or manipulation. The word has a negative connotation, describing something that is fake, insincere, and lacking in real value or worth.

Example sentences containing meretricious

1. The meretricious jewelry sparkled but lacked genuine value.
2. They were drawn to the meretricious allure of the flashy nightclub.
3. The meretricious promises of the salesperson turned out to be empty.
4. They saw through the meretricious facade of the celebrity's extravagant lifestyle.
5. The meretricious decorations at the party added a sense of artificial glamour.
6. They were unimpressed by the meretricious display of wealth and opulence.

History and etymology of meretricious

The adjective 'meretricious' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'meretricius,' which relates to 'meretrix,' meaning 'prostitute' or 'courtesan.' In ancient Rome, a 'meretrix' was a woman who engaged in sexual services for payment. Over time, the term 'meretricius' evolved to encompass a broader meaning, extending beyond the realm of prostitution to describe anything that had the appearance of being attractive or alluring on the surface but lacked genuine value or substance. In this sense, 'meretricious' conveys the idea of something that is superficially appealing, often in a showy or flashy manner, but ultimately proves to be insincere or without real merit. Thus, the etymology of 'meretricious' is rooted in its historical association with the world of courtesans and the transition to describing things that are deceptively attractive yet lacking in substance.

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Further usage examples of meretricious

1. The meretricious artwork aimed to impress with its superficial beauty.
2. They found the meretricious compliments insincere and manipulative.
3. The meretricious advertising campaign relied on gimmicks and false claims.
4. They were disappointed by the meretricious nature of the product, lacking substance.
5. The meretricious charm of the con artist deceived many unsuspecting victims.
6. They saw past the meretricious charm of the politician and questioned their motives.
7. The meretricious interior design of the hotel appeared luxurious but lacked sophistication.
8. They were repelled by the meretricious behavior of the reality TV star.
9. The meretricious packaging of the product aimed to attract attention on the shelf.
10. They recognized the meretricious nature of the sales pitch and declined the offer.
11. The meretricious costumes of the performers aimed to dazzle the audience.
12. They dismissed the meretricious compliments, knowing they were insincere.
13. The meretricious smile on their face hid their true intentions.
14. They were uninterested in the meretricious trends and preferred authenticity.

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