Definition of eunuch in English:

eunuch

noun

  • 1A man who has been castrated, especially (in the past) one employed to guard the women's living areas at an oriental court.

    • ‘While the eunuchs danced, men held money over the heads of people they wanted to honour.’
    • ‘He even occasionally allows his reader a salacious glimpse of his many and various belle-lettrist exchanges with flatterers, botherers, court eunuchs, visiting dignitaries and so on.’
    • ‘In the chain of the covenantal family, the foreigner has no past and the eunuch no future.’
    • ‘Ostracized by society and living in ghettos, eunuchs, popularly known as ‘hijras’ have nowhere to go but their own peers for shelter and succour.’
    • ‘All bars should be forced to employ eunuchs as waitresses.’
    • ‘Indians believe that one becomes a eunuch through past demons while at the same time eunuchs (hijras in India) claim to be descendants of the goddess Mata and historically had a revered place in religious rites and government positions.’
    • ‘Only in the domestic sphere did they remain predominant, and the top of that pyramid was now occupied by the court eunuchs.’
    • ‘The only men allowed to serve women in their private quarters were either eunuchs or men who lacked a sexual drive towards women.’
    • ‘The Emperor of China would employ eunuchs, castrated men, as guards and servants in his Palace.’
    • ‘I always felt a bit like a court eunuch when I was around him.’
    • ‘The staff, culled from the same gene pool that serves the lower Main, is comprised of attractive, slow-blinking women and efficient eunuchs, soft-voiced males in tight black turtlenecks.’
    • ‘The arts, of which the little lion dogs were considered a part, were entrusted to the palace courts' eunuchs and women, who competed to outdo each other in creating the most beautiful dog in order to gain the special favor of the emperors.’
    • ‘In the first reading Philip runs alongside the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the queen.’
    • ‘Then at 18 she met a group of eunuchs - castrated men who dressed as women and sang and danced for a living.’
    • ‘Another group who owed their existence in the Capital Region solely to the presence of the imperial court in Beijing were eunuchs.’
    • ‘As the traditional sense of the word seems to imply, not every person referred to as a eunuch was necessarily castrated.’
    • ‘He alone would have been carried across the immense first courtyard - 200m long by 190m wide - in a palanquin on the shoulders of eunuchs, guarded by the thousands of soldiers who manned the red walls.’
    • ‘In this case it will be interesting to see if the unions can act as anything more than the castrated eunuchs that they are.’
    • ‘It's like a man who celebrates the day of his castration, as a eunuch.’
    • ‘They were not always popular: an 18th-century Prussian soldier compared his NCOs to oriental eunuchs, polite to their superiors but taking out their frustrations on their subordinates.’
    1. 1.1 An ineffectual person.
      ‘a nation of political eunuchs’
      • ‘And he ensured that he surrounded himself with political eunuchs.’
      • ‘This expression would render us both socially unique and a political eunuch.’
      • ‘Public choice, as an inclusive research programme, incorporates the presumption that persons do not readily become economic eunuchs as they shift from market to political participation.’
      • ‘The House of Commons, inundated by a quota system guaranteed to promote mediocrity, had become a government harem populated by political eunuchs.’
      • ‘People expect a political scientist to be objective, some kind of political eunuch.’
      • ‘Failing to have prosecuted Labour over these scandals would probably have relegated ACT to United Future or Progressive levels of influence - political eunuchs.’
      • ‘Therefore I'm currently enjoying the status of a political eunuch.’
      • ‘If I have to read one more whining twenty-something eunuch complain about how politics just isn't relevant to his/her life, I'm gonna be sick.’

Origin

Old English, via Latin eunuchus from Greek eunoukhos, literally ‘bedroom guard’, from eunē ‘bed’ + a second element related to ekhein ‘to hold’.

Pronunciation

eunuch

/ˈjuːnək/