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Trojan horse

Classical Mythology. a gigantic hollow wooden horse, left by the Greeks upon their pretended abandonment of the siege of Troy. The Trojans took it into Troy and Greek soldiers concealed in the horse opened the gates to the Greek army at night and conquered the city.
a person or thing intended to undermine or destroy from within.
a nonreplicating computer program planted illegally in another program to do damage locally when the software is activated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Trojan horse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I resolved then and there to see the Trojan horse, but not to get inside of him.

    Olympian Nights John Kendrick Bangs
  • The manifold affections of sense are not simply aggregated in the individual, like the heroes in the Trojan horse.

  • The next whim of this vain, fantastic, and crazy man, was to prove that the Trojan horse could really have been constructed.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
  • There was no lack of guests at the Trojan horse, where we had taken up our abode at Valladolid.

    The Bible in Spain George Borrow
  • He might have made you think of the Trojan horse—innocuous without, but teeming with belligerent activity within.

British Dictionary definitions for Trojan horse

Trojan Horse

(Greek myth) Also called the Wooden Horse. the huge wooden hollow figure of a horse left outside Troy by the Greeks when they feigned retreat and dragged inside by the Trojans. The men concealed inside it opened the city to the final Greek assault
a trap intended to undermine an enemy
(computing) a bug inserted into a program or system designed to be activated after a certain time or a certain number of operations
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
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Trojan horse in Culture

Trojan Horse definition

In classical mythology, a large, hollow horse made of wood used by the Greeks to win the Trojan War. The resourceful Odysseus had come up with the plan for the horse. The Greeks hid soldiers inside it and left it outside the gates of Troy. They anchored their ships just out of sight of Troy and left a man behind to say that the goddess Athena would be pleased if the Trojans brought the horse inside the city and honored it. The Trojans took the bait, against the advice of Cassandra and Laocoon. That night the Greek army returned to Troy. The men inside the horse emerged and opened the city gates for their companions. The Greeks sacked the city, thus winning the war.

Note: The story of the Trojan horse is the source of the saying “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for Trojan horse

Trojan horse

noun phrase

A kind of computer virus: ''Trojan horse'' programing lies in wait to be triggered later, either at a certain day, hour, or minute or when system use or storage reaches a certain level

[1990s+ Computers; fr the wooden horse full of soldiers used by the Greeks to end the siege of Troy]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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