cannon fodder


Definition of cannon fodder 

1 : soldiers regarded or treated as expendable in battle

2 : an expendable or exploitable person, group, or thing celebrities who have become cannon fodder for the tabloids

Examples of cannon fodder in a Sentence

The poorly trained forces are little more than cannon fodder.

Recent Examples on the Web

Too often, the field gets lost in the folds, depicted as cannon fodder and not world-class players. Jon Wertheim,, "Five Thoughts From Day Five at Wimbledon," 6 July 2018 The lesson for Brennan’s generation of C.I.A. officers was a demoralizing one — that serving the president could sometimes mean acting as political cannon fodder when things went wrong. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 Now that tariffs are actually going into effect, the damage could be even greater — turning many farmers, some of whom were Trump supporters, into cannon fodder for his protectionist trade war. NBC News, "Mexico will impose 20 percent tariffs on U.S. pork," 5 June 2018 Instead the Assad regime has turned to Shia militias, often made up of Afghans drafted and organised by Iran, as cannon fodder. The Economist, "Israel is determined to stop Iran from establishing bases in Syria," 12 Apr. 2018 Yet a 64-team women’s tournament still looks like a bloated exercise in gender equity that only underscores the enormous differences between the teams with the big guns and those that annually act as cannon fodder. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Women's basketball needs madness – not sameness. NCAA Tournament is still too mismatched," 15 Mar. 2018 Soldiers are fighting to preserve monarchies and a class system that views them as little more than cannon fodder. Gary Thompson,, "'Journey's End': In the trenches with WWI soldiers," 28 Mar. 2018 This bracket buster was for all 135 other 16-seeds that had served as cannon fodder for the blue bloods of the sport since the field expanded to 64 teams (and now 68) in 1985. Stephen Schroats, star-telegram, "It's 'One Shining Moment' that will live in NCAA tournament history | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 17 Mar. 2018 No one’s dismissing the Rockets as a novelty, a regular season mirage, or cannon fodder for a Warriors team bound to spring to life in the postseason. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "The Rockets Are Exactly the Kind of Wake-Up Call the Warriors Need," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cannon fodder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cannon fodder

circa 1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cannon fodder

The first known use of cannon fodder was circa 1888

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More Definitions for cannon fodder

cannon fodder


English Language Learners Definition of cannon fodder

: soldiers who are sent into battle even though it is likely that they will die

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