minion

play
noun min·ion \ˈmin-yən\

Definition of minion

  1. 1 :  a servile dependent, follower, or underling He's one of the boss's minions.

  2. 2 :  one highly favored :  idol his great charity to the poor renders him the minion of the people — Jonas Hanway

  3. 3 :  a subordinate (see 1subordinate 1) or petty official government minions

minion was our Word of the Day on 10/02/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of minion in a sentence

  1. one of the boss's minions

  2. most of the top appointments went to the new governor's personal minions and political cronies

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.

Origin and Etymology of minion

Middle French mignon darling


First Known Use: circa 1500


MINION Defined for English Language Learners

minion

play
noun min·ion \ˈmin-yən\

Definition of minion for English Language Learners

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

acid in temper, mood, or tone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!