minion

noun
min·​ion | \ ˈmin-yən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

This strange turn of events has a complicated explanation, one that Maigret and his minions discover in their swift, methodical manner. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales to Warm a Cold Winter’s Night," 21 Dec. 2018 The sound effect for scoring the last hit on a minion was endlessly gratifying. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "How Epic’s Fortnite rose from the ashes of Paragon’s failure," 11 May 2018 Will Pope Francis evict the Devil and his minions and liberate the numberless, tortured souls clawing at the walls of their burning cells? Scott G. Bruce, WSJ, "Do We Still Need to Believe in Hell?," 13 Sep. 2018 In story mode, Mario encounters many of his familiar enemies, but fire-breathing plants and Bowser’s turtle-like minions aren’t trying to steal one of Mario’s endless lives. Todd Martens, latimes.com, "'Mario Tennis Aces' and the love of low-stakes competition," 12 July 2018 Marciano came into his prime and popularity in the early 1950s when boxing, now both televised and controlled by mobster Frankie Carbo and his minions, hadn’t had a white champion since James Braddock in 1937. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, "Pulling no punches on Rocky Marciano," 29 June 2018 Use a silver paint pen to draw on the minion’s goggles, let dry 8. Fox News, "Fun ways to decorate your Easter eggs," 1 Apr. 2018 The temperance movement is upturned by drinking songs and free beer passed out by the dandy minions. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "The brash, profane, funny, infuriating, high-flying first chapter of Taylor Mac's '24-Decade History'," 16 Mar. 2018 The model minority becomes a unique tool of supremacy—a minion, a humble servant, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Aditi Natasha Kini, The Root, "The Model Minority Is Not a Myth: It’s Ajit Pai," 19 Jan. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of minion

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for minion

Middle French mignon darling

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minion

Statistics for minion

Last Updated

31 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minion

The first known use of minion was circa 1500

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for minion

minion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of minion

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on minion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minion

Britannica English: Translation of minion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on minion

What made you want to look up minion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!