henchman

[hench-muhn]
noun, plural henchmen.
1.
an unscrupulous and ruthless subordinate, especially a criminal: The leader of the gang went everywhere accompanied by his henchmen.
2.
an unscrupulous supporter or adherent of a political figure or cause, especially one motivated by the hope of personal gain: Hitler and his henchmen.
3.
a trusted attendant, supporter, or follower.
4.
Obsolete. a squire or page.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English henchman, henshman, henksman, hengestman, Old English hengest stallion (cognate with German Hengst) + man man1

henchmanship, noun


2. flunky, lackey, cohort.
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World English Dictionary
henchman (ˈhɛntʃmən)
 
n , pl -men
1.  a faithful attendant or supporter
2.  archaic a squire; page
 
[C14: hengestman, from Old English hengest stallion + man; related to Old Norse hestr horse, Old High German hengist gelding]

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

henchman
1360, hengestman "high-ranking servant," originally "groom," from man + O.E. hengest "horse, stallion, gelding," from P.Gmc. *khangistas (cf. O.Fris. hengst, Du. hengest, Ger. Hengst "stallion"), probably lit. "best at springing," from PIE *kenku- (cf. Gk. kekiein "to gush forth;" Lith. sokti "to jump,
dance;" Breton kazek "a mare," lit. "that which belongs to a stallion"). Became obsolete, but retained in Scottish as "personal attendant of a Highland chief," in which sense Scott revived it in literary Eng. in 1810. Sense of "obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Give up on this regime because it should be over for him and his henchmen.
Before they can perform the heist, the two must find precisely the right
  henchmen to join them.
We have to do that with our doctors, nurses and insurance henchmen.
Lee and his henchmen preyed on this vulnerability, and subjected the laborers
  to poor conditions and minimal pay.
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