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whore (hôr)
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n.
1. A prostitute.
2. Often Offensive A person considered sexually promiscuous.
3. A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.
intr.v. whored, whor·ing, whores
1. To associate or have sexual relations with prostitutes or a prostitute.
2. To accept payment in exchange for sexual relations.
3. To compromise one's principles for personal gain.
Phrasal Verb:
whore out
1. To compromise one's principles for personal gain.
2. To offer (oneself or another) for sexual activity in exchange for money or personal gain.
3. To exploit (someone or something) crassly or unscrupulously for personal gain.

[Middle English hore, from Old English hōre; see kā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Word History: Derivatives of Indo-European roots have often acquired starkly contrasting meanings. A prime example is the case of the root *kā–, "to like, desire." From it was derived a stem *kāro–, from which came the prehistoric Common Germanic word *hōraz with the underlying meaning "one who desires" and the effective meaning "adulterer." The feminine of this, *hōrōn–, became hōre in Old English, the ancestor of Modern English whore. In another branch of the Indo-European family, the same stem *kāro– produced the Latin word cārus, "dear." This word has several derivatives borrowed into English, including caress, cherish, and charity, in Christian doctrine the highest form of love and the greatest of the theological virtues. · Another derivative of the root *kā in Indo-European was *kāmo–, a descendant of which is the Sanskrit word for "love," kāma, appearing in the name of the most famous treatise on love and lovemaking, the Kamasutra.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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