V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


noun, adjective

Definition: (n.) 1. a hired soldier, especially one who fights for pay for a country other than his or her own; 2. someone interested primarily in their own gain, especially financially; (adj.) greedy and interested in selfish gain

Synonyms: (adj.) greedy, materialistic, selfish, avaricious

Antonyms: (adj.) self-less, generous, unpaid

Tips: Mercenary originated from the Latin mercenarius, "hireling," which came from merces, or "wages." A mercenary is a soldier who works for wages, not out of national pride or duty, and is sometimes referred to as a "soldier of fortune." When the word mercenary is used to refer to someone other than a professional soldier, it is usually used in a negative sense to describe someone who is overly greedy, selfish, and only interested in profit.

Usage Examples:

His mercenary attitude puts his own needs before others'. (selfish, greedy) adjective

John was a mercenary who had fought for several nations. (hired soldier) noun

Many sales professionals are mercenaries and will work for whoever pays them the most money. (hired soldiers) noun

The rebel leaders employed mercenaries to fight for their cause. (paid soldiers) noun

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