AskDefine | Define meretricious

Dictionary Definition

meretricious adj
1 like or relating to a prostitute; "meretricious relationships"
2 tastelessly showy; "a flash car"; "a flashy ring"; "garish colors"; "a gaudy costume"; "loud sport shirts"; "a meretricious yet stylish book"; "tawdry ornaments" [syn: brassy, cheap, flash, flashy, garish, gaudy, gimcrack, loud, tacky, tatty, tawdry, trashy]
3 based on pretense; deceptively pleasing; "the gilded and perfumed but inwardly rotten nobility"; "meretricious praise"; "a meretricious argument" [syn: gilded, specious]

User Contributed Dictionary



From meretrīcius < meretrīx, "harlot, prostitute"


  • /ˌmɛrɪˈtrɪʃəs/|/ˌmɛrəˈtrɪʃəs/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪʃəs


  1. Of, or relating to prostitutes or prostitution.
  2. (hence) tastelessly gaudy, making a false show of being attractive.


Of, or relating to prostitutes

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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