mercenary

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Latin mercēnārius (mercenary, hireling), from merces (reward, wages, price).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɜː(ɹ).sən.ə.ɹi/, /ˈmɜː(ɹ)ˌsn̩.ɹi/
  • (US) enPR: mûrʹsə-nĕr'ē, IPA(key): /ˈmɜːrsəˌnɛri/
  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

mercenary (comparative more mercenary, superlative most mercenary)

  1. Motivated by private gain.
    • Dryden
      For God forbid I should my papers blot / With mercenary lines, with servile pen.

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Noun[edit]

mercenary (plural mercenaries)

  1. A person employed to fight in an armed conflict who is not a member of the state or military group for which they are fighting and whose prime or sole motivation is private gain.

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