Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

Pyrrhic victory

A victory that is offset by staggering losses, as in The campaign was so divisive that even though he won the election it was a Pyrrhic victory . This expression alludes to Kind Pyrrhus of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in b.c. 279, but lost his best officers and many of his troops. Pyrrhus then said: "Another such victory and we are lost." In English the term was first recorded (used figuratively) in 1879.
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

Pyrrhic victory

a victory gained at too great a cost.
Pyrrhus was a king of Epirus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in 279 bc , but in doing so sustained heavy losses and lost his finest troops.
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 ?
It is also possible to keep constantly up to date with Pyrrhic on his brand new website: www.
An agreement with Iran on uranium enrichment and IAEA inspectors monitoring the Fordo underground nuclear facility near Qom could turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory from the perspective of Israeli deterrence as well.
He was one of just 55 to survive a Pyrrhic victory that began with 239 men.
This is the first and only work that, basing its conclusions on a multitude of documents and witnesses' testimony, provides an answer to the question: How could Israeli politicians turn a brilliant military success of the Six-Day War into a Pyrrhic victory?
It's a Pyrrhic, bittersweet victory," said Miriam Siegman, 65, of New York City.
The consequences of this legislation also have implications for non-smokers for whom this victory has been somewhat pyrrhic.
While John Cross proclaims a pyrrhic victory, in reality the European Commission have recognised that there are people in Britain who want to continue using imperial measurement but what practical advantage is to be derived from it is hard to tell.
We are not quixotic idealists who are looking for pyrrhic victories to prove a point.
So credit to Muller for securing a price increase, but ultimately it looks like a pyrrhic victory.
Moreover, it might have been a Pyrrhic victory: The massive amount of money Barack Obama spent to lose the state forced the Clinton campaign to nearly bankrupt itself.
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.
I disagree with what Lt Col Donald Rehkopf says in his article "Reply to 'Maj Gen William "Billy" Mitchell: A pyrrhic promotion'" (Fall 2007).
Yet if the Government finally resorts to banning private firework displays then what a pyrrhic victory the perpetrators will have achieved.
Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War, by Robert A Doughty.
Pyrrhic Victory restores the French army to its legitimate position at the focus of World War I.