Definition of henchman
1 obsolete : a squire or page to a person of high rank
2a : a trusted follower : a right-hand manb : a political follower whose support is chiefly for personal advantagec : a member of a gang
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Examples of henchman in a Sentence
a gangster surrounded by his henchmen
Recent Examples of henchman from the Web
During that long manhunt, Bin Laden and his henchmen were constantly splitting their focus between eluding capture and committing fresh atrocities.
According to various speculation, Rich was killed by the DNC, or by the Russians, or by Hillary Clinton’s henchmen after leaking DNC documents to Wikileaks.
The object of the game is to destroy the evil Mr. Big and his cyborg henchmen by shooting them out of the three-story-tall rear-projection video screen.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'henchman'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The earliest known examples of henchman in written English show it being used as a term for a squire or a page, but the word may have seen earlier use with the meaning "groom." It first appeared in Middle English at the beginning of the 15th century and is a combination of Old English hengest ("a male horse") and man. In the late 1700s, henchman began to be used for the personal attendant of a Scottish Highland chief. This sense, made familiar to many English readers by Sir Walter Scott, led to the word's use in the broader sense of "right-hand man," which in turn evolved into the other meanings.
Origin and Etymology of henchman
Middle English henshman, hengestman groom, from hengest stallion (from Old English) + man; akin to Old High German hengist gelding
First Known Use: 15th century
HENCHMAN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of henchman for English Language Learners
: a trusted follower or supporter who performs unpleasant, wrong, or illegal tasks for a powerful person (such as a politician or criminal)
HENCHMAN Defined for Kids
Definition of henchman for Students
: a trusted follower or supporter and especially someone who performs unpleasant or illegal tasks
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