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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
I request all protagonists to exercise utmost caution, as whichever side wins will have a pyrrhic victory.
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.
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.
Blatter said: "The decision is very damaging for football and a Pyrrhic victory for those players and their agents, who toy with the idea of rescinding contracts before they have been fulfilled.
If a dispute gave rise to action by the AG's office, it was only to prosecute the sponsor--criminally or civilly--and often left consumers with a pyrrhic victory of seeing the sponsor punished but the underlying condition uncorrected.
Never let the two loves ever lose control/Nor trade for a Pyrrhic victory, their one and only soul//Or their love to someone else and thus, easily replace/This soulmate forever, from their pages, and erase//But do let the two lovers find within their youth/That of which they call their hearts' only truth//Even if it meant that they decide on day/They cannot go on, from living far away//A broken spell will tell what will unfold/Of their lives, their love, if left uncontrolled//And though they found fate, through plenty of twists/Their Love, most of all, was never dismissed//Their passions breathed a new life and felt incredibly alive/The day they rescued each other from their deepest deprive?
I don't know, this could be a Pyrrhic victory,'' said Moorpark coach Tim Lins, referencing an ancient Greek version of what could turn out to be a disastrous victory.
I answered that it was impossible to predict--an almost complete loss of predictability in appellate litigation being another pernicious consequence of the Charter--but I said that I feared that TWU would either lose on such broad grounds as virtually to eliminate religious freedom in Canada, or TWU would win on such narrow grounds (namely the failure of BCCT to prove a single instance of a TWU teaching graduate expressing a moral position on homosexuality or on anything else) as to be only a pyrrhic victory.
Chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, Keith Best, said the closure of Sangatte would be a pyrrhic victory for Mr Blunkett.
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the artists won their argument that government cannot censor art, but it was a Pyrrhic victory.
It is the first time Siemens has topped IBM in Germany, but it may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.
All organizations, though, should remember that celebrating reduced costs without a larger understanding of where the enterprise is headed may be a Pyrrhic victory.
Hayden said, "This is a Pyrrhic victory for myself, since the damage to my career and reputation have been irreversible.