Roman holiday

Roman holiday "occasion on which entertainment or profit is derived from injury or death," 1860, originally in reference to holidays for gladiatorial combat; the expression seems to be entirely traceable to an oft-quoted passage on a dying barbarian gladiator from the fourth canto (1818) of Byron's "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage":
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother. He, their sire,
Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday!

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roman holiday — ► NOUN ▪ an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from the suffering of others. ORIGIN from Byron s poem Childe Harold (1818), originally with reference to a holiday given for a gladiatorial combat …   English terms dictionary

  • Roman holiday — n. [after the ancient Roman gladiatorial contests] entertainment acquired at the expense of others suffering, or a spectacle yielding such entertainment …   English World dictionary

  • Roman Holiday — Infobox Film name = Roman Holiday caption = Promotional movie poster for the film imdb id = 0046250 producer = William Wyler director = William Wyler writer = Dalton Trumbo (story) Ian McLellan Hunter John Dighton (screenplay) starring = Gregory… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Holiday — Vacances romaines Vacances romaines Audrey Hepburn et Gregory Peck Titre original Vacances …   Wikipédia en Français

  • roman holiday — noun Usage: usually capitalized R Etymology: so called from the bloody combats staged as entertainment in ancient Rome 1. a. : an event or occasion resembling the games or gladiatorial combats of the ancient Roman circus (as for spectacle or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Roman Holiday — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Ein Herz und eine Krone Originaltitel: Roman Holiday Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1953 Länge: 113 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roman holiday — noun an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from others suffering. Origin C19: from Byron s Childe Harold, orig. with ref. to a holiday given for a gladiatorial combat …   English new terms dictionary

  • Roman holiday — noun Date: 1886 1. a time of debauchery or of sadistic enjoyment 2. a destructive or tumultuous disturbance ; riot …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Roman Holiday — …   Википедия

  • Roman holiday — 1. a public spectacle or controversy marked by barbarism, vindictiveness, or scandal. 2. pleasure or advantage gained from the discomfort or suffering of others. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium

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