Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

myrmidon

play
noun myr·mi·don \ˈmər-mə-ˌdän, -dən\

Definition of myrmidon

  1. 1 capitalized :  a member of a legendary Thessalian people who accompanied their king Achilles in the Trojan War

  2. 2 :  a loyal follower; especially :  a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously



Did You Know?

The Myrmidons, legendary inhabitants of Thessaly in Greece, were known for their fierce devotion to their king, Achilles, who led them in the Trojan War. Myrmex means "ant" in Greek, an image that evokes small and insignificant workers mindlessly fulfilling their duty. Whether the original Myrmidons were given their name for that reason is open to question. The "ant" association is strong, however. Some say the name is from a legendary ancestor who once had the form of an ant; others say the Myrmidons were actually transformed from ants. In any case, since the 1400s, we've employed "myrmidon" in its not-always-complimentary, ant-evoking, figurative sense.

Origin and Etymology of myrmidon

Middle English Mirmydon, Latin Myrmidon-, Myrmido, from Greek Myrmidōn


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


Learn More about myrmidon


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up myrmidon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate accomodate acommadate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ