out-Herod

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From out- +‎ Herod.

Verb[edit]

to out-Herod (third-person singular simple present out-Herods, present participle out-Heroding, simple past and past participle out-Heroded)

  1. To surpass in evil and cruelty (originally and chiefly with Herod as direct object). [from 17th c.]
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, First Folio 1621, III.2:
      I could haue such a Fellow whipt for o're-doing Termagant: it outHerod's Herod. Pray you auoid it.
    • 1948, E. M. Butler, The Myth of the Magus:
      nor is his tone anything like so venomous as Carlyle's in that unpleasing essay on Cagliostro, in which he threw all decency to the winds and out-Heroded the Inquisition whilst ranting against it.
    • 1989, Harry Levin, "Putting Pound Together", New York Review of Books, 9 Nov 1989:
      The farther and the longer away from his native country, the more he out-Heroded Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby.

Derived terms[edit]