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Herʹod

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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 tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings … . it out-herods Herod.”—Shakespeare: Hamlet, iii. 2.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Hermite
Hermoth or Hermod
Hero
Hero and Leander
Hero Children
Heroes scratched off Church-doors
Heroic Age
Heroic Medicines
Heroic Size
Heroic Verse
Herod
Herod’s Death (Acts xii. 23)
Herodotus of Old London (The)
Heron-crests
Herostratos or Erostratos
Herring
Herring-bone (in building)
Herring-pond (The)
Hertford
Hertha
Hesione

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Herod