Also found in: Thesaurus.
a. Attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious ornamentation.
b. Plausible but false or insincere; specious: made a meretricious argument.
2. Of or relating to prostitutes or prostitution: meretricious relationships.
[Latin meretrīcius, of prostitutes, from meretrīx, meretrīc-, prostitute, from merēre, to earn money; see (s)mer- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.