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legion

[lee-juh n] /ˈli dʒən/
noun
1.
a division of the Roman army, usually comprising 3000 to 6000 soldiers.
2.
a military or semimilitary unit.
3.
the Legion.
  1. American Legion.
  2. 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
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
Synonyms
5. throng, mass, host, sea.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for legions
  • Sure there were squares in the professoriate, but there were legions of oddballs as well.
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  • Health foundation board members and legions of faithful alike can believe whatever they wish to be true.
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  • It's not legions of lab-coated scientists with clipboards.
  • And there's another hump: training legions of unwitting employees how to accept the thing.
  • The industry is fighting these efforts-mainly with its legions of lobbyists and lawyers.
British Dictionary definitions for legions

legion

/ˈliːdʒən/
noun
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 pl) any very large number, esp of people
adjective
5.
(usually postpositive) very large or numerous
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin legio, from legere to choose
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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Word Origin and History for legions

legion

n.

c.1200, from Old French legion "Roman legion" (3,000 to 6,000 men, under Marius usually with attached cavalry), from Latin legionem (nominative legio) "body of soldiers," from legere "to choose, gather," also "to read" (see lecture (n.)).

Generalized sense of "a large number" is due to translations of allusive phrase in Mark v:9. American Legion, U.S. association of ex-servicemen, founded in 1919. Legion of Honor is French légion d'honneur, an order of distinction founded by Napoleon in 1802. Foreign Legion is French 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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legions in the Bible

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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