myrmidon

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See also: Myrmidon

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin Myrmidones, from Ancient Greek Μυρμιδόνες (Murmidónes), a tribe of warriors led by Achilles to the Trojan War. Folk etymology in Ovid's time derived the tribe's name from μυρμηδών ("ant-nest", from μύρμηξ, "ant").

Noun[edit]

myrmidon (plural myrmidons)

  1. A soldier or a subordinate civil officer who executes orders of a superior without protest or pity; -- sometimes applied to bailiffs, constables, etc.
    • 1842, "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (a play by George Dibden Pitt based on an existing story) at Act III, Scene II:
      Tobias (to Jonas Fogg, manager of a madhouse): "I will die ere I submit to you or your vile myrmidons."
    • 1934, Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance, 1992 Bantam edition, ISBN 0553278193, pages 177–178:
      [] headed for a revelation to the District Attorney that would probably result in my having the pleasure of meeting H. R. Corbett or some other flatfooted myrmidon []

See also[edit]