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cannon fodder

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noun
  1. soldiers, especially infantrymen, who run the greatest risk of being wounded or killed in warfare.
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Origin of cannon fodder

First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cannon fodder

Historical Examples

  • Do you think I'm going to send him over there to be cannon-fodder?

    Dangerous Days

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The flower of Oxford was too valuable to be used as cannon-fodder.

  • What they can hope to achieve by so prodigal a waste of "cannon-fodder" is difficult to see.

  • Hannibal in his victories lost almost nobody but Gauls, his cannon-fodder, who fought with poor shields and without armor.

    Battle Studies

    Charles-Jean-Jacques-Joseph Ardant du Picq

  • This "cannon-fodder" would go into battle without enthusiasm, would perform what was required of them like obedient machines.


British Dictionary definitions for cannon fodder

cannon fodder

noun
  1. men regarded as expendable because they are part of a huge army
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012