• IPA: /ˌmɛɹɪˈtɹɪʃəs/, /ˌmɛɹəˈtɹɪʃəs/


  1. Tastelessly gaudy; superficially attractive but having in reality no value or substance; falsely alluring.
    • 2006, Clive James, North Face of Soho, Picador 2007, p. 164:
      When I lifted my eyes from the page, there was none of the meretricious argument London always offers that the sole real purpose in life is to hustle for a buck.
  2. (legal) Involving unlawful sexual connection or lack of consent by at least one party (said of a romantic relationship)
  3. (obsolete) Of, or relating to prostitutes or prostitution.
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