Pyrrhic victory

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Pyrrhic victory a victory that is won by incurring terrible losses
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pyrrhic victory a victory in which the winning side sustains very heavy losses.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Pyrrhic victory a victory gained at too great a cost, in allusion to Pyrrhus's exclamation after his victory of Asculum (279), 'Another such victory and we are lost!'
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Idioms

Pyrrhic victory - A Pyrrhic victory is one that causes the victor to suffer so much to achieve it that it isn't worth winning.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Pyrrhus, king of Epirus

Usage

In literature:

But it was, it must be confessed, a Pyrrhic victory.
"The Great Boer War" by Arthur Conan Doyle
NATO has emerged from its Pyrrhic victory in Kosovo shell shocked and riven by internal strains.
"After the Rain" by Sam Vaknin
To the South, Bull Run was a Pyrrhic victory.
"Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War" by G. F. R. Henderson
Poetry, in these cases, wins perhaps at most a Pyrrhic victory over reluctant matter.
"Recent Developments in European Thought" by Various
To politico-economists it will appear a Pyrrhic victory.
"Disturbed Ireland" by Bernard H. Becker
If in respect to theory the hanging of the Quakers was a confession, in the realm of practical politics it was but a Pyrrhic victory.
"Beginnings of the American People" by Carl Lotus Becker
Moreover, it could not be concealed that Morgan's nomination was a Pyrrhic victory.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
But Methuen's first engagements seemed to him to be Pyrrhic victories.
"Lord Milner's Work in South Africa" by W. Basil Worsfold
Lionel would have dearly liked to shake her, but in the midst of his defeat he realized with a glow that she had won a Pyrrhic victory.
"The Gay Adventure" by Richard Bird
This was a Pyrrhic victory; the State had absorbed the Inquisition.
"A History of The Inquisition of The Middle Ages; volume II" by Henry Charles Lea
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In news:

Like a lot of people, I figure that victory in this weekend's Greek election is purely Pyrrhic.
Morgan Stanley Win on Brokerage Would Be Pyrrhic Victory.
For ACA ruling's winners, perhaps a Pyrrhic victory.
Greek Election Leaves Pyrrhic Victory Risk as Aid Talks Near.
Law & Apple: Pyrrhic Victory in Germany, Storm Clouds in California.
A Pyrrhic 'Victory' The budget deal turns out to have been a defeat for Republicans.
A Sapphic Victory, but Pyrrhic .
Morgan Stanley Win on Brokerage Would Be Pyrrhic Victory .
For ACA ruling's winners, perhaps a Pyrrhic victory .
A Pyrrhic 'Victory ' The budget deal turns out to have been a defeat for Republicans.
A Sapphic Victory, but Pyrrhic.
A Pyrrhic Victory for America's Youth Will the president's young fans stop dancing when the entitlement bill comes due.
' Boardwalk Empire' Season Finale Recap: Pyrrhic Victory.
In Apple's Pyrrhic victory, Samsung really comes out ahead.
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