• synonyms


[out-her-uh d]
verb (used with object)
  1. to outdo in extravagance, violence, or excess: His cruelty out-Herods Herod.
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Origin of out-Herod

1595–1605; out- + Herod (Antipas)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for out-herod

Historical Examples of out-herod

  • An evil day for journalists and writers who do not out-Herod Blanqui and Pyat.

    The Parisians, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • They are bad copies of the Spaniards, whose failings they imitate and out-herod till they become odious vices.

  • I should like to out-Herod that puppy Rowland, and make a saint of myself out of a sinner.

British Dictionary definitions for out-herod


  1. (tr) to surpass in evil, excesses, or cruelty
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Word Origin for out-Herod

C17: originally out-Herod Herod, from Shakespeare's Hamlet (act 3, scene 2); see also Herod : portrayed in medieval mystery plays as a ranting tyrant
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