Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    shyster

    shaI st@r

    noun
    a person, usu. a lawyer, who uses underhanded, unethical methods.
    That shyster accepted her fee for his services but did almost nothing for her.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    naysayer

    neI seI @r

    noun
    a person who refuses, denies, or opposes, esp. because of cynicism or pessimism.
    They went ahead with their ambitious plan despite the arguments of the naysayers.

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May
29
2013

meretricious

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

meretricious

me rih trI shəs

adjective

1. appealing or attracting in a cheap, showy, or shallow way.
example: Some chandeliers convey opulent elegance, while others can be as meretricious as disco balls.
example: He succumbed to the meretricious charms of Parisian nightclubs.

2. lacking truth or sincerity; deceptive; spurious.
example: meretricious praise; a meretricious way of debating; a meretricious assertion.

Etymology

“1620s, “pertaining to harlots,” from Latin meretricius “of or pertaining to prostitutes,” from meretrix (genitive meretricis) “prostitute,” literally “woman who earns money,” from merere, mereri “to earn, gain” (see merit(n.)). Meaning “gaudily alluring” is from 1630s.” (Doug Harper, www.etymonline.com)