cannon fodder


: soldiers regarded or treated as expendable in battle
: an expendable or exploitable person, group, or thing
celebrities who have become cannon fodder for the tabloids

Example Sentences

The poorly trained forces are little more than cannon fodder.
Recent Examples on the Web But thanks to the Kremlin’s neo-imperialism, much of Sakha remains impoverished and underdeveloped—and Sakha residents have now become cannon fodder for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Casey Michel, The New Republic, 16 Dec. 2022 Fears of being 'cannon fodder' and a brutal response by police. Editors, USA TODAY, 25 Sep. 2022 Across four locations in the Bakhmut area, Ukrainian soldiers described how Wagner troops at times appear to have been used almost as cannon fodder. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2022 Despite minimal training and obsolete equipment, the new conscripts will have a certain military value as cannon fodder. Michael Peck, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 The most likely path for Russian reservists is as cannon fodder. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 22 Sep. 2022 Putin, who has previously criticized U.S. delivery of weapons to Ukraine, accused Washington once again of trying to draw out the conflict while using Ukrainian civilians as cannon fodder. Siladitya Ray, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 Osechkin says the number of takers of such offers dropped off at one point when inmates began wising up to the fact that they might be used as cannon fodder. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 14 Aug. 2022 The main cast once again got off without any major deaths while great newcomers were killed off like cannon fodder. Erik Kain, Forbes, 4 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cannon fodder was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near cannon fodder

Cite this Entry

“Cannon fodder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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