Dictionary.com

pyrrhic

1
[ pir-ik ]
/ ˈpɪr ɪk /
Prosody
Save This Word!

adjective
consisting of two short or unaccented syllables.
composed of or pertaining to pyrrhics.
noun
Also called dibrach. a pyrrhic foot.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of pyrrhic

1
1620–30; <Latin pyrrhichius<Greek pyrrhíchios pertaining to the pyrrhíchēpyrrhic2

Other definitions for pyrrhic (2 of 3)

pyrrhic2
[ pir-ik ]
/ ˈpɪr ɪk /

noun
an ancient Greek warlike dance in which the motions of actual warfare were imitated.
adjective
of, relating to, or denoting this dance.

Origin of pyrrhic

2
1590–1600; <Latin pyrrhicha<Greek pyrrhíchē a dance; said to be named after Pyrrhichus, the inventor

Other definitions for pyrrhic (3 of 3)

Pyrrhic
[ pir-ik ]
/ ˈpɪr ɪk /

adjective
of, relating to, or resembling Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, or his costly victory.

Origin of Pyrrhic

First recorded in 1880–85; Pyrrh(us) + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pyrrhic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pyrrhic (1 of 2)

pyrrhic1
/ (ˈpɪrɪk) prosody /

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

Word Origin for pyrrhic

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

British Dictionary definitions for pyrrhic (2 of 2)

pyrrhic2
/ (ˈpɪrɪk) /

noun
a war dance of ancient Greece
adjective
of or relating to this dance

Word Origin for pyrrhic

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
FEEDBACK