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meretricious (adj.)

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" (from PIE root *(s)mer- (2) "to get a share of something"). Meaning "gaudily alluring" is from 1630s. Related: Meretriciously; meretriciousness.

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