legion

[lee-juhn]
noun
1.
a division of the Roman army, usually comprising 3000 to 6000 soldiers.
2.
a military or semimilitary unit.
3.
the Legion.
b.
foreign legion ( def 2 ).
4.
any large group of armed men.
5.
any great number of persons or things; multitude.
adjective
6.
very great in number: The holy man's faithful followers were legion.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English legi(o)un (< Old French) < Latin legiōn- (stem of legiō) picked body of soldiers, equivalent to leg(ere) to gather, choose, read + -iōn- -ion


5. throng, mass, host, sea.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
legion (ˈliːdʒən)
 
n
1.  a military unit of the ancient Roman army made up of infantry with supporting cavalry, numbering some three to six thousand men
2.  any large military force: the French Foreign Legion
3.  (usually capital) an association of ex-servicemen: the British Legion
4.  (often plural) any very large number, esp of people
 
adj
5.  (usually postpositive) very large or numerous
 
[C13: from Old French, from Latin legio, from legere to choose]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

legion
c.1200, from O.Fr. legion "Roman legion" (3,000 to 6,000 men, under Marius usually with attached cavalry), from L. legionem (nom. legio) "body of soldiers," from legere "to choose, gather," also "to read" (see lecture). Generalized sense of "a large number" is due to (inaccurate)
translations of allusive phrase in Mark v.9. American Legion, U.S. association of ex-servicemen, founded in 1919. Legion of Honor is Fr. légion d'honneur, an order of distinction founded by Napoleon in 1802. Foreign Legion is Fr. légion étrangère "body of foreign volunteers in a modern army," originally Polish, Belgian, etc. units in French army; they traditionally served in colonies or distant expeditions.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Legion definition


a regiment of the Roman army, the number of men composing which differed at different times. It originally consisted of three thousand men, but in the time of Christ consisted of six thousand, exclusive of horsemen, who were in number a tenth of the foot-men. The word is used (Matt. 26:53; Mark 5:9) to express simply a great multitude.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
If his enemies abroad are numerous, those at home are legion.
Faculty members who haven't read current scholarship in decades are legion.
The possible applications of an artificial nose are legion.
It is not absolute, of course, and permutations and deviations are legion.
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