a Pyrrhic victory

Pyrrhic victory

A victory that is not worth achieving because of the excessive toll it takes on the victor. Winning the lawsuit was a Pyrrhic victory, since it cost us everything we had.
See also: pyrrhic, victory
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a Pyrrhic victory

If you describe a victory as a Pyrrhic victory, you mean that although someone has won or gained something, they have also lost something which was worth even more. If gun-control advocates achieve their goals by threats, rather than through properly enacted legislation, it will be a Pyrrhic victory. Note: This expression comes from the victory of King Pyrrhus over the Romans, in which much of King Pyrrhus's army was killed.
See also: pyrrhic, victory
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a ˌPyrrhic ˈvictory

a victory which is achieved at too high a price and therefore not worth having: It was a Pyrrhic victory. They won the strike but then most of them lost their jobs.This idiom refers to Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, who in 279BC defeated the Romans but lost all his best officers and men.
See also: pyrrhic, victory
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
"However in a way this amounts to a pyrrhic victory, and we will not stop campaigning for government to freeze, if not reduce, this rate of tax on insurance for the remainder of this parliament," he added.
"It's more a pyrrhic victory because if you noticed the court decided that the proclamation issued by the President is valid.
Panelo claimed the court's decision was a Pyrrhic victory' for Trillanes.
'Datuk Seri Najib Razak's highly-funded strategists have at least vindicated themselves - managed to win in the Umno elections yesterday after they had been given a drubbing in the 14th general election though it is likely to be a pyrrhic victory,' Lim said in a statement.
Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose has told former Governor John Kayode Fayemi not to celebrate yet as his victory at the rescheduled governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress held on Saturday is a Pyrrhic victory.
When the flag is finally lowered in Brussels the silent majority will have won a pyrrhic victory only.
I request all protagonists to exercise utmost caution, as whichever side wins will have a pyrrhic victory. The politics of revenge will return (pun intended) with vengeance.
Unless substantial changes are made, passing the current widely unpopular tax reforms will bode for unprecedented voter backlash in upcoming elections, likely proving its passage to be a Pyrrhic victory
The victory won with conflicts and incidents is a Pyrrhic victory. We don't need a Pyrrhic victory," Vinca says in his written statement to Lajm.
Has he ever heard of a Pyrrhic victory? So one example will suffice.
The AKP's victory is a Pyrrhic victory. It is hollow and flimsy, as Kadri GE-rsel put it.
Sweden, March 29 -- For several reasons, the UNHRC adoption of the resolution against Sri Lanka is a pyrrhic victory for those who voted for it.
MANILA -- What the government has won by crushing Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels in Zamboanga City is a Pyrrhic victory, a peace activist said on Friday.
In his first remarks since being asked to form a government by President Giorgio Napolitano, Letta said his "surprise" at being nominated was "equal to the profound sense of responsibility that I feel weighing on my shoulders." He is expected to lead the PD into a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi's conservatives and centrists led by outgoing premier Mario Monti - an outcome his party had resisted with all his might since a pyrrhic victory in February elections left it short of a clear parliamentary majority.
Like a pyrrhic victory, the reward is greatly outweighed by the effort and consequences.