From Middle English hencheman, henseman, henxman (“a groom, page, attendant”), from Old English *hengstmann, *hengestmann (“groom”, literally “horseman”), from hengst, hengest (“stallion, horse, steed, gelding”) (from Proto-Germanic *hangistaz (“stallion”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱanḱest-, *kankest- (“horse”)) + mann (“man”). Cognate with archaic German Hengstmann (“a groom”), Icelandic hestamaður (“horseman, groom”).
henchman (plural henchmen)
- A loyal and trusted follower or subordinate.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:loyal follower
- A person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests.
- An assistant member of a criminal gang.
- (obsolete) A page to a prince or other person of high rank.