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1. Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain.
2. Hired for service in a foreign army.
n. pl. mer·ce·nar·ies
1. One who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling.
2. A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army.

[Middle English mercenarie, a mercenary, from Old French mercenaire, from Latin mercēnnārius, from mercēs, wages, price.]

mer′ce·nar′i·ly adv.
mer′ce·nar′i·ness n.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If one marries another for her dowry, but he does not love her, he acts mercenarily.
The tendency of mercenarily motivated groups to disintegrate will also favor the formation of progressively smaller and smaller groups, for the expulsion of members from a group bound by a commitment to the acquisition of wealth will always increase the benefits to those remaining.