Definition of Trojan in US English:



  • Relating to ancient Troy in Asia Minor.

    ‘Trojan legends’
    • ‘He prophesies the founding of Rome, after several generations of Trojan descendants are born in Italy.’
    • ‘Once inside, the Greek soldiers poured out of the horse, sacked Troy, and burned it to the ground, carrying off plenty of wealth and numerous Trojan women in the process.’
    • ‘But, when scrutinized closely, the later Roman relationship to Trojan civilization exists in name only.’
    • ‘In Homer's epic ‘Illiad,’ snakes are even the avengers sent by gods to punish Trojan priest Laocoon who warns the Trojans against the Greek's scheme using a wooden horse.’
    • ‘Aeneas and a few other Trojan men escaped the city and set sail for a new land where they hoped to build a new Troy.’


  • A native or inhabitant of ancient Troy.

    • ‘Having heard that Crete was abandoned by its native ruler, the Trojans set sail.’
    • ‘When he and Apollo were cheated by the Trojans, Poseidon's revenge was endless.’
    • ‘They camp around the Trojan settlement and the Trojans watch them from their walls.’
    • ‘A war fought at Troy between the native Trojans and the invading Greeks.’
    • ‘Helen is blamed for causing the Trojan War because the Greeks and Trojans were fighting over her.’


  • work like a Trojan (or Trojans)

    • Work extremely hard.

      • ‘He worked like a Trojan and he could not do enough for anybody.’
      • ‘He works like a Trojan and takes enormous pride in his produce.’
      • ‘I don't think anyone would argue that Tommy has worked like a Trojan for years and years.’
      • ‘‘They worked like Trojans,’ he said at the time.’
      • ‘He tells us that although there has been inactivity on our part, ‘the ground staff have been working like Trojans’.’
      • ‘And she worked like a Trojan and her morals were irreproachable.’
      • ‘The head teacher won't mention this, but she was feeding everyone from the canteen wagon - she worked like a Trojan that night.’
      • ‘He carried on working like a Trojan and kept up a punishing travel schedule that took him to factories all over the Far East, overseeing the manufacture of his shoe designs.’
      • ‘They have worked like Trojans and in appalling conditions.’
      • ‘Staff at our hospitals worked like Trojans and came through with flying colours.’
      work hard, labour, work one's fingers to the bone, work like a trojan, work like a dog, work day and night, exert oneself, keep at it, keep one's nose to the grindstone, grind away, slave away, grub away, plough away, plod away
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Middle English: from Latin Troianus, from Troia ‘Troy’.