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a victory or goal achieved at too great a cost.
a victory in which the victor’s losses are as great as those of the defeated Also called Cadmean victory
Pyrrhic victory [(peer-ik)]

A victory that is accompanied by enormous losses and leaves the winners in as desperate shape as if they had lost. Pyrrhus was an ancient general who, after defeating the Romans, told those who wished to congratulate him, “One more such victory and Pyrrhus is undone.”
A victory that is offset by staggering losses, as in The campaign was so divisive that even though he won the election it was a Pyrrhic victory. This expression alludes to Kind Pyrrhus of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in b.c. 279, but lost his best officers and many of his troops. Pyrrhus then said: “Another such victory and we are lost.” In English the term was first recorded (used figuratively) in 1879.


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    adj. 1590s, “pertaining to Pyrrho,” skeptic philosopher of Elis (c.360-c.275 B.C.E.), who held the impossibility of attaining certainty of knowledge. Related: Pyrrhonism; Pyrrhonist.

  • Pyrrho

    [pir-oh] /ˈpɪr oʊ/ noun 1. c365–c275 b.c, Greek philosopher. /ˈpɪrəʊ/ noun 1. ?365–?275 bc, Greek philosopher; founder of scepticism. He maintained that true wisdom and happiness lie in suspension of judgment, since certain knowledge is impossible to attain

  • Pyrrhonism

    [pir-uh-niz-uh m] /ˈpɪr əˌnɪz əm/ noun 1. the Skeptic doctrines of Pyrrho and his followers. 2. extreme or absolute skepticism.

  • Pyrrhotite

    [pir-uh-tahyt] /ˈpɪr əˌtaɪt/ noun 1. a common mineral, iron sulfide, approximately FeS but variable because of a partial absence of ferrous ions, occurring in massive and in crystal forms with a bronze color and metallic luster; magnetic pyrites: generally slightly magnetic. /ˈpɪrəˌtaɪt/ noun 1. a common bronze-coloured magnetic mineral consisting of ferrous sulphide in hexagonal […]

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