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See also: -trophy


A trophy.


From Middle French trophée, from Latin trophaeum (a sign of victory, a monument), tropaeum, from Ancient Greek τρόπαιον (trópaion, monument of an enemy's defeat), from neuter of τροπαῖος (tropaîos, of defeat), from τροπή (tropḗ, a rout, a turning of an enemy).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɹəʊfi/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɹoʊfi/
  • Rhymes: -əʊfi


trophy (plural trophies)

Trophy at Gloriette Schönbrunn (Austria) (sense 6)
  1. An object, usually in the form of a statuette, cup, or shield, awarded for success in a competition or to mark a special achievement.
    He won the trophy in a running competition.
  2. An object taken as a prize by a hunter or conqueror, especially one that is displayed.
    • 1697, “The Seventh Book of the Æneis”, in Virgil; John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Around the posts hung helmets, darts, and spears, / And captive chariots, axes, shields, and bars, / And broken beaks of ships, the trophies of their wars.
    The set of antlers which hung on the wall was his prized trophy.
  3. Any emblem of success; a status symbol.
    His trophies included his second wife, his successful children, the third and fourth homes in Palm Beach and Malibu, his three yachts (for the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean), his jet, and his mistresses.
  4. (criminology, by extension) An object taken by a serial killer or rapist as a memento of the crime.
  5. (historical, Roman antiquity) A tropæum.
  6. (art, architecture) A display of weaponry and other militaria, often captured from a defeated enemy, as an ornament designed for the purpose of triumphalist display by a victor or as a show of military prowess by a monarch.
    • 1994, Philip Jenkins, Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide [1], →ISBN, page 117:
      The souvenirs which many killers retain of their victims are often described as trophies, and Norman Bates's taxidermic interests derived from the real-life Ed Gein.
    • 2001, R. Michael Gordon, Alias Jack the Ripper: Beyond the Usual Whitechapel Suspects [2], →ISBN, page 82:
      A trophy from this murder would have been of great importance.
    • 2004, Ronald F. Becker, Criminal Investigation [3], →ISBN, page 168:
      The offender is also likely to mentally relive his killings, often with the help of souvenirs or trophies, such as a bracelet or a body part taken from the victim.

Derived terms[edit]



trophy (third-person singular simple present trophies, present participle trophying, simple past and past participle trophied)

  1. (transitive) To adorn with trophies.