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henchman

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noun hench·man \ˈhench-mən\

Simple Definition of henchman

  • : a trusted follower or supporter who performs unpleasant, wrong, or illegal tasks for a powerful person (such as a politician or criminal)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of henchman

  1. 1 obsolete :  a squire or page to a person of high rank

  2. 2 a :  a trusted follower :  a right-hand man b :  a political follower whose support is chiefly for personal advantage c :  a member of a gang

Examples of henchman in a sentence

  1. a gangster surrounded by his henchmen



Did You Know?

The earliest known examples of henchman in written English show it being used as a term for a squire or a page, but the word may have seen earlier use with the meaning "groom." It first appeared in Middle English at the beginning of the 15th century and is a combination of Old English hengest ("a male horse") and man. In the late 1700s, henchman began to be used for the personal attendant of a Scottish Highland chief. This sense, made familiar to many English readers by Sir Walter Scott, led to the word's use in the broader sense of "right-hand man," which in turn evolved into the other meanings.

Origin of henchman

Middle English henshman, hengestman groom, from hengest stallion (from Old English) + man; akin to Old High German hengist gelding


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with henchman


HENCHMAN Defined for Kids

henchman

play
noun hench·man \ˈhench-mən\

Definition of henchman for Students

plural henchmen \-mən\

  1. :  a trusted follower or supporter and especially someone who performs unpleasant or illegal tasks




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