min·​ion | \ ˈmin-yən How to pronounce minion (audio) \

Definition of minion

1 : a servile dependent, follower, or underling He's one of the boss's minions.
2 : one highly favored : idol his great charity to the poor renders him the minion of the people— Jonas Hanway
3 : a subordinate (see subordinate entry 1 sense 1) or petty official government minions

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The Origins of Minion

Minion comes to us from Middle French and has a somewhat surprising cousin in English: filet mignon. The two words are connected by way of Middle French mignon, meaning "darling." Minion entered English around 1500 directly from Middle French, whereas filet mignon arrived significantly later by way of a Modern French phrase meaning "dainty fillet." The earliest uses of minion referred to someone who was a particular favorite, or darling, of a sovereign or other important personage. Over time, however, the word evolved a more derogatory sense referring to a person who is servile and unimportant.

Examples of minion in a Sentence

one of the boss's minions most of the top appointments went to the new governor's personal minions and political cronies
Recent Examples on the Web That includes overtly turning the towering, new-look villain Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds) into a minion of Darkseid, the Thanos-like conqueror of worlds created by the legendary writer-artist Jack Kirby. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Zack Snyder's Justice League' presents the director's dark vision to fans who campaigned for it," 15 Mar. 2021 Once ensconced, Ted meets formidable owner Rebecca Welton (a smashing Hannah Waddingham) and her dutiful, if less than savvy, minion Higgins (Jeremy Swift). Sarah Rodman,, "Jason Sudeikis and his Ted Lasso costars on making the feel-good TV hit of 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 While students walked into the school wearing masks of different prints and themes — such as floral or minion — and parents waved goodbye, many students stopped to talk to Guernsey. Hannah Reed,, "Students arrive in masks for the first day of school in Munster: ‘We’ll see how it goes’," 12 Aug. 2020 Flynn would be untouchable, and free to discover the entirety of the Obama administration’s extensive but secret effort to depict Trump and his minions as Russian operatives — an effort the FBI was determined to keep pursuing. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The FBI Set Flynn Up to Preserve the Trump–Russia Probe," 2 May 2020 For instance, knock a pesky boss down with a special attack, then jump-kick your way to his wimpy minions to refill your health with easy hits. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Streets of Rage 4 review: This beat-’em-up revival beats them all," 29 Apr. 2020 Yet, when the political media isn’t preoccupied with a gotcha du jour, pundits, partisans, and journalists have seemed downright giddy to let their minions know that the United States now has the most coronavirus cases in the world. David Harsanyi, National Review, "No, America’s Response to Coronavirus Isn’t the Worst in the World," 30 Mar. 2020 As a Fascist commander, pool cue in hand, prepares to play a shot in the local bar, one of his minions tiptoes around the room, so as not to disturb the maestro at work. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "A Hundred Years of Fellini," 17 Jan. 2020 His minions filed more than 70 technical reports in an effort to convince the Coastal Commission that the project would not severely impact the habitat or be a major eyesore. Steve Lopez,, "The Edge’s plan for Malibu rock and roll colony is dead. Here’s how U2 guitarist can win new fans," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minion.' 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 minion

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minion

Middle French mignon darling

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Time Traveler for minion

Time Traveler

The first known use of minion was circa 1500

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for minion



English Language Learners Definition of minion

: someone who is not powerful or important and who obeys the orders of a powerful leader or boss

More from Merriam-Webster on minion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minion

Britannica English: Translation of minion for Arabic Speakers

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