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 And the center of this nonstop festival of pain is Jabba, who waits patiently for minions to bring incidents in front of him. Darren Franich,, "Return of the Jedi," 6 Nov. 2019 Like Jimmy Harper, Khadduri has the cash and contacts to put dangerous minions on the fugitives’ trail. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Selflessly Blowing His Cover," 31 Jan. 2020 But when her loyal steward (John Rothman) finally convinces her that all this liberality has left her broke, and her creditors’ minions come calling with bills, her world and her illusions collapse. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Shakespeare’s ‘Timon’ Gets an Occupy Athens Makeover," 19 Jan. 2020 Tut-tutting about how the president and his minions have turned an august judicial process into an over-the-top spectacle is not going to get them anywhere, especially with their otherwise reliable media allies. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, "Trump is getting the band back together," 17 Jan. 2020 How does Logan still hold steel-wire leashes on his minions and his investors? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Succession Bores Into the Power of Fear," 25 Aug. 2019 His father’s minions fish him from it and send him to appear on a business-news show, in support of Logan’s leadership of Waystar. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Second Season of “Succession” Digs Into the Characters’ Self-Loathing," 14 Aug. 2019 Now the president and his minions were the aggressors, seeking help with the 2020 re-election effort. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here," 11 Nov. 2019 Trump and his assorted minions in the right wing media fell back on attacking the whistleblower, who, given the hundreds of pages of testimony already on record, is as irrelevant to this case as facts are to Fox News viewers. Rex Huppke,, "Column: Trump’s scam charity not really helping his ‘I’m not corrupt’ impeachment case: The Week in Review," 8 Nov. 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

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Minion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for minion


How to pronounce minion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of minion

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on minion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for minion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minion

Britannica English: Translation of minion for Arabic Speakers

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