Pyrrhic victory


: a victory that is not worth winning because so much is lost to achieve it

Did you know?

In 279 B.C. Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, a country in northwest Greece, defeated the Romans at the Battle of Ausculum, but lost all of his best officers and many men. He is said to have exclaimed after the battle, "One more such victory and we are lost". Pyrrhic victories are more common than we tend to think. Whenever we win an argument but in so doing manage to offend the friend we were arguing with, or whenever a country invades another country but rouses widespread opposition in surrounding countries in the process, it's probably a Pyrrhic victory that has been achieved.

Dictionary Entries Near Pyrrhic victory

Cite this Entry

“Pyrrhic victory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!