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[troh-fee] /ˈtroʊ fi/
noun, plural trophies.
anything taken in war, hunting, competition, etc., especially when preserved as a memento; spoil, prize, or award.
anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valor, skill, etc.:
a sports trophy.
a symbol of success that is used to impress others:
He bought the lavish home as a trophy.
a carving, painting, or other representation of objects associated with or symbolic of victory or achievement.
any memento or memorial.
a memorial erected by certain ancient peoples, especially the Greeks and Romans, in commemoration of a victory in war and consisting of arms or other spoils taken from the enemy and hung upon a tree, pillar, or the like.
noting or relating to a symbol of success that is used to impress others:
They just want a near-perfect trophy child to brag about.
Origin of trophy
1505-15; earlier trophe < French trophée < Latin trop(h)aeum < Greek trópaion, noun use of neuter of trópaios, Attic variant of tropaîos of turning or putting to flight, equivalent to trop(ḗ) a turning (akin to trépein to turn) + -aios adj. suffix. See trope
Related forms
trophyless, adjective


a combining form used in the formation of nouns with the general senses “nourishment, feeding” (mycotrophy), “growth” (hypertrophy); also forming abstract nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -trophic.
< Greek -trophia nutrition, equivalent to troph(ḗ) food + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trophy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As usual when returning from the deep woods, Mr. Crowther was bringing a trophy.

  • “Only that I have killed a wolf, and am not allowed to bring in my trophy,” replied Emma.

    The Settlers in Canada Frederick Marryat
  • She was convinced that holding this trophy she was sure to experience more trouble.

  • She goes to the wall, to the trophy I have described to you so often.

    Rita Laura E. Richards
  • Therefore, we scoured the country far and wide for desirable heads; and the meat waited upon the acquisition of the trophy.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for trophy


noun (pl) -phies
an object such as a silver or gold cup that is symbolic of victory in a contest, esp a sporting contest; prize
a memento of success, esp one taken in war or hunting
(in ancient Greece and Rome)
  1. a memorial to a victory, usually consisting of captured arms raised on the battlefield or in a public place
  2. a representation of such a memorial
an ornamental carving that represents a group of weapons, etc
(modifier) (informal) highly desirable and regarded as a symbol of wealth or success: a trophy wife
Word Origin
C16: from French trophée, from Latin tropaeum, from Greek tropaion, from tropē a turning, defeat of the enemy; related to Greek trepein to turn


combining form
indicating a certain type of nourishment or growth: dystrophy
Derived Forms
-trophic, combining_form:in_adjective
Word Origin
from Greek -trophia, from trophē nourishment
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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Word Origin and History for trophy

1510s, "a spoil or prize of war," from Middle French trophée (15c.) from Latin trophaeum "a sign of victory, monument," originally tropaeum, from Greek tropaion "monument of an enemy's defeat," noun use of neuter of adjective tropaios "of defeat," from trope "a rout," originally "a turning" (of the enemy); see trope. Figurative extension to any token or memorial of victory is first recorded 1560s. Trophy wife attested by 1984.


word-forming element meaning "food, nourishment," from Greek trophe "food, nourishment," related to trephein "make thrive, nourish, rear; to make solid, congeal, thicken."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trophy in Medicine

-trophy suff.
Nutrition; growth: hypertrophy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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