Also found in: Medical, Wikipedia.
1. n. soldiers who are injured but still able to walk. (Standard English.) Many of the walking wounded helped with the more seriously injured cases.
2. n. a person who is injured—mentally or physically—and still able to go about daily life. The outpatient clinic was filled with the walking wounded.
3. n. stupid people in general. Most of network programming seems to be aimed at the walking wounded of our society.
Injured individuals who are of relatively low priority for care, that is, do not need a stretcher or immediate treatment. The term originated in the mid-1900s and alluded to victims of war, earthquake, or some other disaster. In time, it was being used figuratively. For example, Reuters correspondent Nick Zieminski wrote, “Many workers around the world have given up hopes of advancing in their jobs. . . . Such ‘walking wounded’ workers are increasingly exchanging ambition for job stability. . . .” (March 16, 2010). An even looser usage is that of James Lee Burke in The Glass Rainbow (2010), “His face looked poached and twenty years older than his age. ‘Stop staring at me like that,’ he said. . . . ‘You stop acting like I’m the walking wounded.’”