Definition of lucre in English:



  • [mass noun] Money, especially when regarded as sordid or distasteful or gained in a dishonourable way.

    ‘officials getting their hands grubby with filthy lucre’
    • ‘The town's lust for lucre has prompted other ploys, including attempts to impose a hotel-motel tax on a Northwestern conference center and a tuition tax.’
    • ‘He refutes any view that the games were somehow freer from the lust for lucre than their modern, brazenly commercial counterparts.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, they open insurgencies to the prospect of lucre, and this carries at least two implications.’
    • ‘In the 1970s, the search for lucre through the illegal drug business compounded and further adulterated societal ties.’
    • ‘But he stresses there's a little more to it than just lucre.’
    • ‘Tort reform, for example, attracts millions in campaign lucre from corporate leaders while undermining trial lawyers, a major Democratic support base.’
    • ‘The pursuit of lucre, in whatever form, is just that… and God is not in it.’
    • ‘Desire and dollars, lust and lucre - when have they not been an item?’
    • ‘Filthy lucre has invaded the town, and its inhabitants would likely stomp over one another to get the last roast beast from the butcher.’
    • ‘But at least most of us don't have to earn our lucre by taking bribes at refugee centres and metro police roadblocks.’
    • ‘The pragmatic left thought that Germany should pay the cost that Israel would have to bear to absorb the survivors, while the right declared it was immoral to sell absolution in exchange for tainted lucre.’
    • ‘They came here for lucre, they left when the money ran out.’
    • ‘But, are the owners really concerned about the safety of the people in the residential areas, where the animal is paraded in the quest for lucre?’
    • ‘Cheap points, and, possibly, some mitigating box office lucre, can be gained by criticizing an American audience overseas in Europe.’
    • ‘Apparently Paul is skeptical of the academy's courage to stand up for principle and reject the government's bigotry-tainted lucre in the event of an adverse ruling in the case.’
    • ‘Despite the lure of lucre and a three-year contract, the one thing he couldn't guarantee his family in Lincolnshire was happiness.’
    • ‘I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay any person's cause for lucre or malice.’
    • ‘You don't doubt that he's partly motivated by lucre, since he often prods his clients to gamble on hitting the jackpot by opting for a jury trial rather than a settlement offer.’
    • ‘The Australian Institute of Management's latest national salary survey found that executives and managers did not get that much more lucre last year.’
    • ‘Since I'd found that book lamentable, I asked why so much attention, not to mention lucre, was being thrown at a historian whose chief talent seemed to be self-promotion.’
    money, cash, hard cash, ready money, funds, capital, finances, riches, wealth, spoils, ill-gotten gains, mammon
    profit, profits, gain, proceeds, winnings
    dough, bread, loot, the ready, readies, moolah
    dosh, brass, lolly, spondulicks, wonga, ackers
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from French lucre or Latin lucrum; the phrase filthy lucre is with biblical allusion to Tit. 1:11.