Pyrrhic Victory: Definition of the Useful Term “Pyrrhic Victory” with Examples

Last Updated on March 23, 2020

You may have heard the term Pyrrhic victory being used in an English conversation and you may have wondered what the saying means. We are going to look at the meaning of this term as well as taking a look at some examples of its use in a conversation. We will also find out the origin of the phrase and where it originally came from.

Pyrrhic Victory

Pyrrhic Victory Meaning

The idiomatic term Pyrrhic victory means a victory which is lessened due to the great losses of the winner throughout the battle.

Origin of this idiom

The term Pyrrhic victory originally comes from the year 279 and the Roman emperor Pyrrhic who won a huge battle but lost many soldiers in the process, making his victory tainted and sad.

“Pyrrhic Victory” Examples

Examples in Statements

There might be many different times that you hear the term Pyrrhic victory, so we are now going to look at some examples of these.

The first statement is being made by a sports commentator.

  • It was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory for Manchester United, as several of their players were seriously injured in the match.

The second statement is being made in a new report.

  • The war was won but the victors were left devastated with their Pyrrhic victory after losing thousands of men.

Conversation Examples

If you are curious to see how the term Pyrrhic victory can work in a conversation, here are some examples to demonstrate this.

The first conversation is between two friends discussing history.

  • Person 1: “The Jewish people definitely ended up triumphing in world war two.”
  • Person 2: “They did, but they suffered such great losses during the war.”
  • Person 1: “I agree it was a very Pyrrhic victory.”

The second conversation is happening between two teachers at a school.

  • Person 1: “I am teaching my students about graciously winning.”
  • Person 2: “They weren’t too gracious when they won the baseball tournament.”
  • Person 1: “They were surprised to have won, it was a Pyrrhic victory after the best player had died before the game.”

More helpful examples:

  • This was indeed a Pyrrhic victory because West Indies cricket was assuredly the loser.
  • Our winning the opening game was a Pyrrhic victory, as our leading scorer was seriously injured.
  • She won the court case, but it was a Pyrrhic victory because she had to pay so much in legal fees.
  • My only regret is that he didn’t turn up at court to watch his Pyrrhic victory.
  • I raised a stink about it and got my seat back, but it was a Pyrrhic victory.

Other Ways to Say the Idiom

There are other ways in which you can say the phrase Pyrrhic victory, here are some examples of this.

  • Hollow victory
  • A victory gained at too large a cost
  • Cadmean victory
  • Too costly victory
  • Goal achieved at too great a cost

What Is “Pyrrhic Victory”? | Picture

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