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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 ?
into the stark mercenariness of industrial mass production.
36) Spinoza's ironic juxtaposition of mercenariness and property ownership in the extended aristocratic republic prefigures the teaching of John Locke, the preeminent theorist of property ownership in modern times.
Justice's Amelia might well grieve, for her husband has embraced mercenariness in as thoroughgoing a way as possible.