Mercenary definition

mûrsə-nĕrē
Frequency:
A professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.
noun
12
0
A person who gives his or her allegiance to whoever will pay for it.
noun
10
0
Motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain.
adjective
9
1
Hired for service in a foreign army.
adjective
9
1
A professional soldier hired for service in a foreign army.
noun
6
2
Advertisement
Designating a soldier serving for pay in a foreign army.
adjective
4
1
One who serves or works merely for monetary gain; a hireling.
noun
2
1
Mercenary is defined as a person whose only motivation to work is money.

An example of a mercenary is a person who cares only about money and would be willing to behave unethically to get it.

noun
1
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.
noun
1
1
Motivated by private gain.
adjective
0
0
Advertisement
Working or done for payment only; motivated by a desire for money or other gain; venal; greedy.
adjective
2
3
The definition of mercenary is someone whose only motivation to do a job is the money they would be paid.

An example of someone that would be described as mercenary is a professional soldier.

adjective
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
mercenary
Plural:
mercenaries

Origin of mercenary

  • Middle English mercenarie a mercenary from Old French mercenaire from Latin mercēnnārius from mercēs wages, price

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin mercÄ“nārius (“mercenary, hireling"), from merces (“reward, wages, price").

    From Wiktionary