Part of speech: adjective

Influenced by desire for gain; serving for pay or profit.

Part of speech: noun

A hired soldier in foreign service.

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Usage examples "mercenary":

  1. For the power of Athens is more mercenary than national; while ours will not be exposed to the same risk, as its strength lies more in men than in money. - "The History of the Peloponnesian War", Thucydides.
  2. " Or, in other words," he added, " is she not a very mercenary person?" - "The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith", George Meredith.
  3. In regard to honesty, the man was superior to the woman, because his purpose was declared, and he told no lies;- but the one was as mercenary as the other. - "The Eustace Diamonds", Anthony Trollope.