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pyrrhic1

[pir-ik] /ˈpɪr ɪk/
adjective
1.
consisting of two short or unaccented syllables.
2.
composed of or pertaining to pyrrhics.
noun
3.
Also called dibrach. a pyrrhic foot.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; < Latin pyrrhichius < Greek pyrrhíchios pertaining to the pyrrhíchē pyrrhic2

pyrrhic2

[pir-ik] /ˈpɪr ɪk/
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] /ˈpɪr ɪk/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or resembling Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, or his costly victory.
Origin
1880-85; Pyrrh(us) + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for pyrrhic
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for pyrrhic

pyrrhic1

/ˈpɪrɪk/
noun
1.
a metrical foot of two short or unstressed syllables
adjective
2.
of or relating to such a metrical foot
3.
(of poetry) composed in pyrrhics
Word Origin
C16: via Latin, from Greek purrhikhē, traditionally said to be named after its inventor Purrhikhos

pyrrhic2

/ˈpɪrɪk/
noun
1.
a war dance of ancient Greece
adjective
2.
of or relating to this dance
Word Origin
C17: Latin from Greek purrhikhios belonging to the purrhikhē war dance performed in armour; see pyrrhic1
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 pyrrhic

Pyrrhic

adj.

1885 (usually in phrase Pyrrhic victory), 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."

n.

"dance in armor" (1590s), also a type of metrical foot (1620s), from Latin pyrrhicha, from Greek pyrrikhe orkhesis, the war-dance of ancient Greece, traditionally named for its inventor, Pyrrikhos. The name means "reddish," from pyrros "flame-colored," from pyr "fire" (see fire (n.)). As an adjective from 1749.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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