Pyrrhic victory (noun): A victory that is offset by staggering losses.
This is named in honor of Pyrrhus, the fool of hope, king of Hellenistic kingdom of Epirus. He had been asked in 281 BC by Tarentum in southern Italy for assistance in the fight against Rome. Pyrrhus had attempted to create a kingdom in Sicily and lower Italy; however his victories against Rome were so costly to his army of 25,000 men and 20 Elephants that he was forced to withdraw from Italy. It was from his quote, "Another such victory and I shall be ruined" that the modern use the term Pyrrhic victory is derived.
It is used in the movie 187. A female student quotes it in her graduation speech; this student was only graduating due to the help of a teacher who killed while being forced by a troubled male student to play Russian roulette. The teacher attempts to make the student take responsibility, and through example takes the student's turn that happens to be the chamber with a bullet. The student learns to take his turn, and ends up shooting himself too.
Prices shown in USD.
Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!
Emails are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll never spam you.