from The Century Dictionary.

  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To surpass (Herod) in violence or wickedness; to exceed in any vicious or offensive particular. Compare outpope the pope.

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

  • verb surpass someone in cruelty or evil


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The poor, given voice in debate,
    Often parrot the lies of the great;
    So error is mirrored,
    They out-herod Herod
    And blame but themselves for their fate.

    September 15, 2014