Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Pyrrhus 319-272 B.C. King of Epirus (306-302 and 297-272) who defeated the Romans at Heraclea (280) and Asculum (279) despite his own staggering losses.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Ancient Greek given name, particularly worn by the king of Epirus (319-272 BC) who defeated Romans in several battles, but sustained heavy losses, from which the term Pyrrhic victory was coined.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. king of Epirus; defeated the Romans in two battles in spite of staggering losses (319-272 BC)

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek Πύῤῥος (Purrhos). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Gentleman, gracefull of person, excellent in speech, and every way as active as no man could be more: his name Pyrrhus, highly affected of Nicostratus, and more intimately trusted then all the rest.

    The Decameron

  • To paraphrase Pyrrhus, if sales keep soaring like this, then home builders will be utterly undone.

    Pyrrhic Victory in June Housing Data

  • On the first day of his retreat the king reached a place called Pyrrhus 'Camp in Molossian Triphylia.

    The History of Rome, Vol. IV

  • After taking Gytheum Nabis returned with his army equipped for rapid marching, and hurrying past Lacedaemon he seized a position known as Pyrrhus 'Camp, which he felt quite certain that the Achaeans were making for.

    The History of Rome, Vol. V

  • Among his other servants he had a young man called Pyrrhus, who was sprightly and well bred and comely of his person and adroit in all that he had a mind to do, and him he loved and trusted over all else.

    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio

  • (where Lycomedes then reigned) in his nonage to be brought up; to avoid that hard destiny of the oracle (he should be slain at the siege of Troy): and for that cause was nurtured in Genesco, amongst the king's children in a woman's habit; but see the event: he compressed Deidamia, the king's fair daughter, and had a fine son, called Pyrrhus by her.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • I strongly suspect that the introduction of the name of 'Pyrrhus' into

    The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Being the Sequel to The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels

  • Whereat Nicostratus marvelled not a little; and: -- "Pyrrhus," quoth he, "I verily believe thou dreamest."

    The Decameron, Volume II

  • "Pyrrhus," said he, "the Romans are said to be good soldiers, and to rule over many warlike nations.

    Plutarch's Lives, Volume II

  • Next to that outcome, Pyrrhus won a stupendous triumph.

    Russia

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