1490, from Middle French mignon ("lover, royal favourite, darling"), from Old French mignon ("dainty, pleasing, gentle, kind"), from Frankish *minnjo ("love, friendship, affection, memory"), from Proto-Germanic *minþij?, *mindij? ("affectionate thought, care"), from Proto-Indo-European *men- ("to think").
minion (countable and uncountable, plural minions)
- A loyal servant of another, usually a more powerful being.
2013 May-June, Kevin Heng, "Why Does Nature Form Exoplanets Easily?", in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 184:
- In the past two years, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has located nearly 3,000 exoplanet candidates ranging from sub-Earth-sized minions to gas giants that dwarf our own Jupiter.
The archvillain deployed his minions to simultaneously rob every bank in the city.
- A sycophantic follower.
- (obsolete) A loved one; one highly esteemed and favoured.
- God's disciple and his dearest minion
- William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, IV-III
- Is this the Athenian minion whom the world / Voiced so regardfully?
- (obsolete) An ancient form of ordnance with a calibre of about three inches.
1647, Francis Beaumont, Philip Massinger, The Double Marriage (play), published 1717, page 19:
- Gun. My Cannons rung like Bells. Here's to my Mistress, The dainty sweet brass Minion: split their Fore-mast, She never fail'd.
- (uncountable, typography, printing) The size of type between nonpareil and brevier, standardized as 7-point.
- Obsolete form of minimum.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Burton to this entry?)
loyal servant of another more powerful being
minion (comparative more minion, superlative most minion)
- (obsolete) Favoured, beloved; "pet".
, vol.1, p.148:
- These favours, with the commodities that follow minion Courtiers, corrupt [...] his libertie, and dazle his judgement.
Borrowed from English million.
- (cardinal) million