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pyrrhic1

[pir-ik]Prosody
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adjective
  1. consisting of two short or unaccented syllables.
  2. composed of or pertaining to pyrrhics.
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noun
  1. Also called dibrach. a pyrrhic foot.
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Origin of pyrrhic1

1620–30; < Latin pyrrhichius < Greek pyrrhíchios pertaining to the pyrrhíchē pyrrhic2

pyrrhic2

[pir-ik]
noun
  1. an ancient Greek warlike dance in which the motions of actual warfare were imitated.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or denoting this dance.
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Origin of pyrrhic2

1590–1600; < Latin pyrrhicha < Greek pyrrhíchē a dance; said to be named after Pyrrhichus, the inventor

Pyrrhic

[pir-ik]
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or resembling Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, or his costly victory.
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Origin of Pyrrhic

First recorded in 1880–85; Pyrrh(us) + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pyrrhic

pyrrhic1

noun
  1. a metrical foot of two short or unstressed syllables
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adjective
  1. of or relating to such a metrical foot
  2. (of poetry) composed in pyrrhics
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Word Origin

C16: via Latin, from Greek purrhikhē, traditionally said to be named after its inventor Purrhikhos

pyrrhic2

noun
  1. a war dance of ancient Greece
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adjective
  1. of or relating to this dance
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Word Origin

C17: Latin from Greek purrhikhios belonging to the purrhikhē war dance performed in armour; see pyrrhic 1
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

Word Origin and History for pyrrhic

Pyrrhic

adj.

1885 (usually in phrase Pyrrhic victory), from Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armies at Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and attack Rome itself, and is said to have remarked, "one more such victory and we are lost."

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n.

"dance in armor" (1590s), also a type of metrical foot (1620s), from Latin pyrrhicha, from Greek pyrrikhe orkhesis, the war-dance of ancient Greece, traditionally named for its inventor, Pyrrikhos. The name means "reddish," from pyrros "flame-colored," from pyr "fire" (see fire (n.)). As an adjective from 1749.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper