minion

noun
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

Many of its creatures are soldiers, clerics, and knights, and its spells focus on increasing the health and the attack of your minions (also known as buffs) or healing them (or yourself) instead. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "How to Play 'Magic: The Gathering': Everything You Need to Know," 19 Feb. 2019 His future, and the future of his adoring minions, depended on the outcome of this interview. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 Cortex's failed attempt to turn the Bandicoot into a minion results in rebellion. Harold Goldberg, chicagotribune.com, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 2018 Maybe the minion who monitors your V.I.P.’s social media accounts will even reply. Philip Galanes, New York Times, "‘It’s Not My Fault I’m White.’ Sure, but That’s Not the Point.," 17 May 2018 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

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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Statistics for minion

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for minion

The first known use of minion was circa 1500

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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

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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

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