pyrrhic

1 [pir-ik] Prosody.

Origin:
1620–30; < Latin pyrrhichius < Greek pyrrhíchios pertaining to the pyrrhíchē pyrrhic2

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pyrrhic

2 [pir-ik]
noun
1.
an ancient Greek warlike dance in which the motions of actual warfare were imitated.
adjective
2.
of, pertaining to, or denoting this dance.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Latin pyrrhicha < Greek pyrrhíchē a dance; said to be named after Pyrrhichus, the inventor

Pyrrhic

[pir-ik]
adjective
of, pertaining to, or resembling Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, or his costly victory.

Origin:
1880–85; Pyrrh(us) + -ic

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pyrrhic1 (ˈpɪrɪk)
 
n
1.  a metrical foot of two short or unstressed syllables
 
adj
2.  of or relating to such a metrical foot
3.  (of poetry) composed in pyrrhics
 
[C16: via Latin, from Greek purrhikhē, traditionally said to be named after its inventor Purrhikhos]

pyrrhic2 (ˈpɪrɪk)
 
n
1.  a war dance of ancient Greece
 
adj
2.  of or relating to this dance
 
[C17: Latin from Greek purrhikhios belonging to the purrhikhē war dance performed in armour; see pyrrhic1]

Pyrrhus (ˈpɪrəs)
 
n
1.  319--272 bc, king of Epirus (306--272). He invaded Italy but was ultimately defeated by the Romans (275 bc)
2.  another name for Neoptolemus
 
'Pyrrhic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Pyrrhic
1885, from Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armies at Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and attack Rome itself, and is said to have remarked, "one more such victory and we are lost."

pyrrhic
"dance in armor" (1597), also a type of metrical foot (1626), from L. pyrrhicha, from Gk. pyrrikhe orkhesis, the war-dance of ancient Greece, traditionally named for its inventor, Pyrrikhos. The name lit. means "reddish," from pyrros "flame-colored," from pyr "fire" (see pyre).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In due time, the victories of nationalists may prove of pyrrhic type: their ethnically pure fiefdoms dying out slowly.
And often, the costs of defense can be high and the legal victories can be pyrrhic.
The greens' victory is already looking rather pyrrhic, however.
And let's not forgot its string of pyrrhic victories.
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