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1490, from Middle French mignon (lover, royal favourite, darling), from Old French mignot (dainty, pleasing, gentle, kind), from Frankish *minnijo (love, friendship, affection, memory), from Proto-Germanic *minþijō, *mindijō (affectionate thought, care), from Proto-Indo-European *men-, *mnā- (to think). Cognate with Old High German minnja (love, care, affection, desire, memory), Old Saxon minnea (love). More at mind.



minion (plural minions)

  1. A loyal servant of another, usually a more powerful being.
    • 2013 May-June, Kevin Heng, “Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets Easily?”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 184: 
      In the past two years, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has located nearly 3,000 exoplanet candidates ranging from sub-Earth-sized minions to gas giants that dwarf our own Jupiter.
    The archvillain deployed his minions to simultaneously rob every bank in the city.
  2. A sycophantic follower.
  3. (obsolete) A loved one; one highly esteemed and favoured.
    • Sylvester
      God's disciple and his dearest minion
    • William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, IV-III
      Is this the Athenian minion whom the world / Voiced so regardfully?
  4. (obsolete) An ancient form of ordnance with a calibre of about three inches.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)
  5. (typography, uncountable) A size of type smaller than brevier but larger than nonpareil, roughly equivalent to 7pt.
  6. Obsolete form of minimum.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burton to this entry?)




minion (comparative more minion, superlative most minion)

  1. (obsolete) Favoured, beloved; "pet".
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, vol.1, p.148:
      These favours, with the commodities that follow minion Courtiers, corrupt [] his libertie, and dazle his judgement.