noun, plural hench·men.
- hench, philip showalter,
Origin of henchman
Examples from the Web for henchman
That has the Journal newsroom worrying they could end up working for a controversial Rupert henchman.
En route, Tron encounters the MCP's henchman, Sark, and the two battle it out cyberstyle.
“He was always in the political equation,” Nixon henchman Chuck Colson once told me.
It was the voice of Jurgens' henchman who had called on Mother Corey before elections.Police Your Planet|Lester del Rey
Ian Hamilton went into bivouac eight miles north of Winburg, which was occupied by his henchman Colvile.A Handbook of the Boer War|Gale and Polden, Limited
Tom smiled in wholehearted agreement with the lieutenant governor's henchman.The Space Pioneers|Carey Rockwell
After that, thinking of Him, she did not feel afraid, and at last she rang at Mrs. Henchman's door.
So Mary had not taken care of Mrs. Henchman, but had gone up and complained of Denys.
noun plural -men
Word Origin for henchman
mid-14c., hengestman, later henshman (mid-15c.) "high-ranking servant (usually of gentle birth), attendant upon a king, nobleman, etc.," originally "groom," probably from man (n.) + Old English hengest "horse, stallion, gelding," from Proto-Germanic *hangistas (cf. Old Frisian hengst, Dutch hengest, German Hengst "stallion"), perhaps literally "best at springing," from PIE *kenku- (cf. Greek kekiein "to gush forth;" Lithuanian sokti "to jump, dance;" Breton kazek "a mare," literally "that which belongs to a stallion").
Perhaps modeled on Old Norse compound hesta-maðr "horse-boy, groom." The word became obsolete in England but was retained in Scottish as "personal attendant of a Highland chief," in which sense Scott revived it in literary English from 1810. Sense of "obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott.