working or acting merely for money or other reward; venal.
hired to serve in a foreign army, guerrilla organization, etc.
noun, plural mercenaries.
a professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.
any hireling.

1350–1400; Middle English mercenarie < Latin mercēnnārius working for pay, hired worker, mercenary, perhaps, representing earlier *mercēd(i)nārius, equivalent to *mercēdin-, stem of *mercēdō, a by-form of mercēs, stem mercēd- payment, wage (akin to merx goods; cf. merchant) + -ārius -ary

mercenarily [mur-suh-nair-uh-lee, mur-suh-ner-] , adverb
mercenariness, noun
nonmercenary, adjective, noun, plural nonmercenaries.
unmercenarily, adverb
unmercenariness, noun
unmercenary, adjective

1. grasping, acquisitive, avaricious, covetous.

1. altruistic, idealistic, unselfish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mercenary (ˈmɜːsɪnərɪ, -sɪnrɪ)
1.  influenced by greed or desire for gain
2.  of or relating to a mercenary or mercenaries
n , -naries
3.  a man hired to fight for a foreign army, etc
4.  rare any person who works solely for pay
[C16: from Latin mercēnārius, from mercēs wages]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "one who works only for hire," from L. mercenarius "one who does anything for pay," lit. "hired, paid," from merces (gen. mercedis) "pay, reward, wages," from merx (see market). The adj. is recorded from 1530s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He shall be mercenary, and she shall be foolish.
But creating marketplaces of mercenary intelligences is genuinely novel.
His reasons were political, I believe, and not just mercenary.
When it comes to souvenirs, rented transportation and mercenary guides, it
  appears there really is nothing new under the sun.
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