mercenary




You might not want to call a mercenary a “hireling” to his face, but a mercenary is, after all, a soldier who gets paid to fight where needed, sometimes taking a heroic stand and other times just wanting payment for fighting.

The word mercenary comes from the Latin mercēnārius, “hireling,” which defines someone who will do anything in exchange for money. In history, a mercenary was often a fighter who followed the next paycheck, but in recent decades it’s also been used for fighters who pursue a good cause in areas where soldiers are in short supply. A synonym for mercenary is “soldier of fortune,” and this phrase sometimes glorifies the mercenary, turning the meaning of “fortune” from “cash” to “luck in battle.”

Definitions of mercenary
  1. noun

    a person hired to fight for another country than their own

    synonyms:
    soldier of fortune
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    types:

    ninja

    a member of the ninja who were trained in martial arts and hired for espionage or sabotage or assassinations; a person skilled in ninjutsu
    type of:

    adventurer, venturer

    a person who enjoys taking risks

  2. adjective

    profit oriented

    “a
    mercenary enterprise”
    synonyms:
    mercantile, moneymaking

    commercial

    connected with or engaged in or sponsored by or used in commerce or commercial enterprises
  3. adjective

    serving for wages in a foreign army

    mercenary killers”
    synonyms:
    free-lance, freelance

    paid

    marked by the reception of pay
  4. adjective

    marked by materialism

    synonyms:
    materialistic, worldly-minded

    secular, temporal, worldly

    characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world

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