[ hench-muhn ]
See synonyms for: henchmanhenchmen on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural hench·men.
  1. an unscrupulous and ruthless subordinate, especially a criminal: The leader of the gang went everywhere accompanied by his henchmen.

  2. an unscrupulous supporter or adherent of a political figure or cause, especially one motivated by the hope of personal gain: Hitler and his henchmen.

  1. a trusted attendant, supporter, or follower.

  2. Obsolete. a squire or page.

Origin of henchman

1325–75; Middle English henchman, henshman, henksman, hengestman,Old English hengest stallion (cognate with German Hengst) + manman

Other words for henchman

Other words from henchman

  • hench·man·ship, noun

Words Nearby henchman

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use henchman in a sentence

  • “He was always in the political equation,” Nixon henchman Chuck Colson once told me.

    How Kennedy Brought Down Nixon | Chris Matthews | September 13, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Finally, there were Coronado and his terrible henchman, Texas Smith, with their rifles and revolvers.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • He does so, and kind Tim "fixes it up," gaining thereby another loyal henchman.

    The Old World in the New | Edward Alsworth Ross
  • His name was Nevil Ormm, nobody was quite sure whence he had come, and he was Dunnan's henchman and constant companion.

    Space Viking | Henry Beam Piper
  • Evidently Duke Angus had dropped whatever he was doing as soon as he heard what his henchman had to tell him.

    Space Viking | Henry Beam Piper
  • As reinforcements came up, McCane and his henchman backed against a pile of timber.

    The Boss of Wind River | David Goodger (goodger@python.org)

British Dictionary definitions for henchman


/ (ˈhɛntʃmən) /

nounplural -men
  1. a faithful attendant or supporter

  2. archaic a squire; page

Origin of henchman

C14: hengestman, from Old English hengest stallion + man; related to Old Norse hestr horse, Old High German hengist gelding

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