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cannon fodder

soldiers, especially infantrymen, who run the greatest risk of being wounded or killed in warfare.
Origin of cannon fodder
1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cannon-fodder
Historical Examples
  • The flower of Oxford was too valuable to be used as cannon-fodder.

  • Do you think I'm going to send him over there to be cannon-fodder?

    Dangerous Days Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • What they can hope to achieve by so prodigal a waste of "cannon-fodder" is difficult to see.

  • This "cannon-fodder" would go into battle without enthusiasm, would perform what was required of them like obedient machines.

    The Nameless Castle Maurus Jkai
  • Hannibal in his victories lost almost nobody but Gauls, his cannon-fodder, who fought with poor shields and without armor.

    Battle Studies Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq
  • Man for man, the alert, intelligent, and chivalrous British army was far superior to the cannon-fodder of the German machine.

    The Day of Wrath Louis Tracy
British Dictionary definitions for cannon-fodder

cannon fodder

men regarded as expendable because they are part of a huge army
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for cannon-fodder

cannon fodder

noun phrase

  1. Common soldiers, esp young and relatively untrained infantry soldiers; bullet bait
  2. ny relatively low-ranking employee, associate, etc: But I'm still cannon fodder when the crunch comes (1930s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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