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1490, from Middle French mignon ‎(lover, royal favourite, darling), from Old French mignon ‎(dainty, pleasing, gentle, kind), from Frankish *minnjo ‎(love, friendship, affection, memory), from Proto-Germanic *minþijō, *mindijō ‎(affectionate thought, care).



minion ‎(countable and uncountable, plural minions)

  1. A loyal servant of another, usually a more powerful being.
    • 2013 May-June, Kevin Heng, “Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets Easily?”, in 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.
    • 1647, Francis Beaumont, Philip Massinger, The Double Marriage (play), published 1717, page 19:
      Gun. My Cannons rung like Bells. Here's to my Mistress, The dainty sweet brass Minion: split their Fore-mast, She never fail'd.
  5. (uncountable, typography, printing) The size of type between nonpareil and brevier, standardized as 7-point.
  6. Obsolete form of minimum.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burton to this entry?)


Derived terms[edit]



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.



Borrowing from English million.



  1. (cardinal) million