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

Examples of cannon fodder in a Sentence

The poorly trained forces are little more than cannon fodder.
Recent Examples on the Web Most of the men are there as voluntary cannon fodder for the spectacle. Toby Muse, Rolling Stone, 3 Mar. 2024 Several returned Nepali fighters who spoke with CNN blamed Russia for using them as cannon fodder in the war. Sugam Pokharel, CNN, 11 Feb. 2024 In Ukraine, these former inmates have been used mostly as cannon fodder. Oleg Matsnev Gray Beltran, New York Times, 4 Dec. 2023 Citizens are being asked to risk their lives for this idea, and Russian boys have been turned into cannon fodder. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 Here, Washington’s world-weary retired assassin Robert McCall is plying his helping-those-in-need brand of vigilantism in Italy, where the Mafia conveniently serves up plenty of ruthless human cannon fodder to zero out in his quest to balance the scales of justice. Brian Lowry, CNN, 1 Sep. 2023 Fighters say that Moscow uses units of former inmates as cannon fodder. New York Times, 15 Aug. 2023 Both the interior minister and the ambassador to Brazil served as cannon fodder for the underlying negotiations and ambitions of the three leaders of the coalition. Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes, 17 July 2023 Valery Gerasimov for allowing his fighters to become U.S. cannon fodder. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 30 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cannon fodder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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