Pyrrhic Victory

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Definition: Pyrrhic Victory

The phrase Pyrrhic Victory finds its roots in Pyrrhus, the kind of Epirus after his army defeated the Romans in 280BC. Although Pyrrhus was victorious, his army suffered irreplaceable damage.

The term Pyrrhic victory is also referred to as a hollow victory. This is considered when a battle is won at the cost of expenses so heavy, that they nullify the gains from winning the battle. In business, examples of a Pyrrhic Victory could be winning an expensive lawsuit or success in a hostile takeover bid.

In common usage,it is also termed as the Winners’ Curse where the winner of an auction ends up overpaying just to win the bid – so much so that the potential reaps of winning the bid is outdone and in certain cases, lesser than the price paid to win the bid.



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