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Cadmean victory

a victory attained at as great a loss to the victor as to the vanquished.
Compare Pyrrhic victory.
1595-1605 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cad mean victory

Cadmean victory

another name for Pyrrhic victory
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cad mean victory
Cadmean victory
c.1600, from Gk. Kadmeia nike "victory involving one's own ruin" [Liddell & Scott], from Cadmus (Gk. Kadmos), legendary founder of Thebes in Boeotia and bringer of the alphabet to Greece. Probably a reference to the story of Cadmus and the "Sown-Men," who fought each other till only a handful were left alive. Cf. Pyrrhic (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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