Definition of cannon fodder in English:

cannon fodder


  • [mass noun] Soldiers regarded merely as material to be expended in war.

    ‘they ended up serving as cannon fodder in Vietnam’
    • ‘Cllr McCarthy expressed the view that the Irish, Australians and Canadians were used as cannon fodder without a care.’
    • ‘I was a prime example, a fledgling member, of the brotherhood of benighted working class cannon fodder the US is so famous for.’
    • ‘Wars are lost when the leadership regards its soldiers as cannon fodder.’
    • ‘They are still part of the World Cup experience but they are playing at their level and not just showing up to make up the numbers and act as cannon fodder for the World's Super Powers.’
    • ‘Brainwashed by the Nazis, conscripted and sent to fight a war that he at first eagerly embraced, Metelmann was the universal soldier - both cannon fodder and killer.’
    • ‘Do not get me wrong, I am committed to my cause, but cannot be cannon fodder for a simple ‘military game’ of two armies.’
    • ‘The regime he established rested on a section of the educated middle class, organised through an authoritarian party, who had taken control using a peasant army as cannon fodder.’
    • ‘Thousands of unemployed rural youth have been used as cannon fodder for the war.’
    • ‘Like the kids in today's army, I was just another poor boy sucked into the machine and told how honorable and patriotic it was to offer myself as cannon fodder.’
    • ‘It is here that a union - comprised of educators - randomly and frequently uses the pupils they are meant to nurture as cannon fodder for their demands.’
    • ‘I wouldn't mind serving my time in such a humanitarian force, as opposed to spending 10 to 13 months being trained to be cannon fodder and wear camouflage.’
    • ‘Jonas Bjorkman served notice to his first-round opponent at Wimbledon, Lleyton Hewitt, that he has no intention of acting as cannon fodder for the top seed.’
    • ‘Eastern Conference Still regarded as the weaker of the two conferences, an open field will contend to provide cannon fodder for the Western champion next summer.’
    • ‘The modern soldier with his modern equipment is not mere cannon fodder.’
    • ‘I was dubious about claims of Scots being used as cannon fodder in past wars.’
    • ‘Bank Top are unbeaten in Division Five but were regarded by many as mere cannon fodder against Holmfirth-based Division Three side Rangers.’
    • ‘Why should we be good enough to be cannon fodder but not good enough to serve at home?’
    • ‘We no longer need millions of manual labourers to till fields or work machines in factories or act as cannon fodder: we do need more middle-class people to work in the service industry.’
    • ‘Also, the Russian commanders had no wish to be used as cannon fodder and tried to discuss ways in which all anti-communist forces might unite against Stalin.’
    • ‘Maybe it's better to be a competitive force in the junior ranks than cannon fodder in the higher echelons.’
    fighter, serviceman, servicewoman, fighting man, fighting woman, comrade-in-arms, warrior, trooper
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cannon fodder