Definition of henchman in English:

henchman

noun

derogatory
  • 1A faithful follower or political supporter, especially one prepared to engage in crime or violence by way of service.

    ‘the dictator's henchman’
    • ‘And the central bankers of the world and their political henchmen are surely taking advantage of that fact.’
    • ‘He turned slowly to see one of Fleischer's henchmen pointing the pistol at him.’
    • ‘On February 14, 1929, Al Capone dispatched his henchmen to dispose of his crime syndicate's rival, Moran and his North Side Gang.’
    • ‘A few well-placed henchmen and gunmen accompanied by a sniper can easily take out your entire family if you're not careful.’
    • ‘David and his high-ranking henchmen had suites of rooms, while younger thieves like me usually shared rooms with others.’
    • ‘Supervillains often employ the services of various henchmen to do their dirty work for them.’
    • ‘Many feel even relieved to a certain extent that they no longer have to run after political leaders and their henchmen for payment.’
    • ‘The thugs and henchmen draw a variety of weapons that include everything from nasty-looking kitchen knives to a really neat-looking sub-atomic ionizer.’
    • ‘They had one foot in the past when lawlessness featured independent gunmen and their henchman preying on society at their own will without regard to other outlaws.’
    • ‘A hit man who asks no questions and creates no trouble, Michael Sullivan is a loyal henchman to ageing Irish mobster John Rooney.’
    • ‘It was also the scene of murders: mafia henchmen allegedly threw unfortunates who couldn't pay their debts from the seven-floor building.’
    • ‘He galloped his horse to the north, followed by his henchmen and Wong's group.’
    • ‘Ray's henchmen are stock Italian mobsters, and their presence occasionally makes the movie seem like an ethnic joke.’
    • ‘The narrator avoids the question and leaves as quickly as he can, but Ras' henchmen follow him.’
    • ‘Mr Cook simply has to appear principled and measured, and allow his henchmen and other supporters to do the work for him with MPs.’
    • ‘The worst enemies of gold are obviously the world's top bankers (with a few exceptions) and their law-making political henchmen.’
    • ‘On foot, we trade bullets with underworld henchmen and rival gangs.’
    • ‘Half an hour later and Natalie had been kidnapped by evil henchmen whilst Daniel engaged in fierce battle.’
    • ‘How are we to break free from the dispiriting sequence of dictators and their henchmen?’
    • ‘Of course, this educational challenge is quite unlike the ones that our politicians and their bureaucratic henchmen now insist are central to the current agenda.’
    follower, supporter, assistant, aide, helper, adjutant, right-hand man
    subordinate, underling, minion, lackey, flunkey, toady, stooge, acolyte, satellite, shadow
    bodyguard, minder, protector
    sidekick, crony, heavy, girl friday, man friday
    body man
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1historical A squire or page of honour to a person of rank.
      • ‘The ownership of land has been the nub of popular discontent in Britain since the Normans, when much of England and Wales - and large slices of Scotland and Ireland - was handed out piecemeal to henchmen.’
    2. 1.2(in Scotland) the principal attendant of a Highland chief.

Origin

Middle English, from Old English hengest ‘male horse’+ man, the original sense being probably ‘groom’. In the mid 19th century the sense ‘principal attendant of a Highland chief’ was popularized by Sir Walter Scott, whence the current (originally US) usage.

Pronunciation:

henchman

/ˈhɛn(t)ʃmən/