Herod

A child-killer; from Herod the Great, who ordered the massacre of the babes in Bethlehem. (Matt. ii. 16).

To out-herod Herod.
To out-do in wickedness, violence, or rant, the worst of tyrants. Herod, who destroyed the babes of Bethlehem, was made (in the ancient mysteries) a ranting, roaring tyrant; the extravagance of his rant being the measure of his bloody-mindedness. (See Pilate.)

“Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to latters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundings ... it out-herods Herod.” —Shakespeare: Hamlet, iii. 2.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Herod from Fact Monster:

  • Herod - Herod Herod, dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus. As a dynasty the Herods depended ...
  • Atticus Herodes - Atticus Herodes: Atticus Herodes: see Herodes Atticus.
  • Herodes Atticus - Herodes Atticus Herodes Atticus (Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes), c.101–c.177, Greek ...
  • William HEROD - HEROD, William (1801—1871) HEROD, William, a Representative from Indiana; born in Bourbon ...
  • Philip (Herod Philip) - Philip Philip, half brother of Herod Antipas, called Herod Philip: see Herod, dynasty.

Related Content