Legion definition


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a division of the Roman army, usually comprising 3000 to 6000 soldiers.

a military or semimilitary unit.

any large group of armed men.

any great number of persons or things; multitude.


very great in number: The holy man's faithful followers were legion.



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Origin of legion

1175–1225; Middle English legi(o)un (<Old French ) <Latin legiōn- (stem of legiō) picked body of soldiers, equivalent to leg(ere) to gather, choose, read + -iōn--ion

Words nearby legion

leg hit, Leghorn, legibility, legible, legibly, legion, legionary, legionary ant, Legionella, Legionella bozemanii, Legionella micdadei

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is a legion?

A legion is a large group of people or things, most commonly soldiers, as in World-famous author Stephen King has a legion of fans. 

Legion can also describe a very large number, as in The number of soccer fans around the world is legion.

During the Roman Empire, legion referred to a division of the army that numbered between 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers. As a result, we use legion to refer to a large number of soldiers. However, legion is now used more generally to mean any big group of people or things.

Example: The city was filled with legions of fans after the rock star announced they would perform a concert there.

Where does legion come from?

The first records of legion come from around 1175. It ultimately comes from the Latin legiōn, meaning “a gathered body of soldiers.”

The Roman army, one of the most powerful in history, was divided into military units or groups known as legions. Legions were made of thousands of soldiers who kept order in Rome’s huge empire. Many organizations since, such as the American Legion and the French Foreign Legion have likely used the word legion to refer to Rome’s military power.

Today, legion is instead used more generally to mean a very big group of people or things. Similar to a horde or a swarm, a legion is a group so large that it is beyond counting and might even seem endless. A large library, for example, might be stocked with legions of books that fill hundreds of shelves.

Similarly, legion also describes a gigantic number. For example, in the Bible, a demon possessing a man tells Jesus that “my name is Legion, for we are many.” The hacker group Anonymous describes itself as legion because of its supposed large number of members.

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What are some other forms related to legion?

What are some synonyms for legion?

What are some words that share a root or word element with legion

What are some words that often get used in discussing legion?

How is legion used in real life?

Legion is often used to mean a huge group of people or things.



Try using legion!

Is legion used correctly in the following sentence?

The protest was attended by a legion of people that stretched for miles.

Words related to legion

throng, horde, flock, multitude, army, myriad, body, division, group, company, number, host, troop, drove, rout, cloud, brigade, scores, phalanx, countless

How to use legion in a sentence

  • Because the companies that Reddit’s legion of traders decided to pump were ultimately not selected for anything other than price plasticity.

    In 2021 everyone gets 15 minutes of wealth|Alex Wilhelm|February 2, 2021|TechCrunch

  • As legions of day traders drove up GameStop’s share price more than than 1,700% this month, institutional investors who had bet against it have stomached massive losses, scrambling to cover their positions by buying the stock back.

    Why Robinhood is blocking the little guy from the GameStop showdown|Roya Wolverson|January 28, 2021|Quartz

  • Hathiramani sees his startup as an onramp to the tech industry for legions of workers who have the skillsets to work in tech, but lack the network to see themselves in the business.

    Want a job in tech? Flockjay pitches its sales training service as an on-ramp to tech careers|Jonathan Shieber|January 15, 2021|TechCrunch

  • All have been criticized for inflating the cost of living in big cities, particularly on the West Coast, where legions of well-paid software developers helped drive up housing prices.

    Amazon pledges $2 billion for affordable homes near U.S. cities|Verne Kopytoff|January 6, 2021|Fortune

  • Instances of PPP fraud are legion and continue to pile up, from the fake Florida ministry that allegedly received more than $8 million in government funds to the Texas man who allegedly poured nearly $1 million of PPP money into cryptocurrency.

    The biggest business scandals of 2020|Lee Clifford|December 27, 2020|Fortune

  • Oprah, when she came, found a legion of her fans on its doorstep.

    The Fiery Death of Sotto Sotto, Toronto’s Celebrity Hotspot|Shinan Govani|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • We will see some surprising groups, maybe a legion of them, face the Six.

    Gail Simone’s Bisexual Catman and the ‘Secret Six’|Rich Goldstein|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • First, in his opening remarks yesterday, the pontiff towed a much more conservative line than his legion of new fans might expect.

    Is Pope Francis Backpedaling on Gays?|Jay Michaelson|November 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl reportedly tried to join the Legion before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

    1,000 Americans Are Serving in the Israeli Army and They Aren’t Alone|Chris Allbritton|July 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • That will be a harder claim to make after today: its soccer team is a doughty legion.

    The Group of Life|Tunku Varadarajan|June 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • He was, for this reason, at once elected lieutenant-colonel of the volunteer legion of the Pyrenees.

    Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison

  • This weakened the defence of the land against the northern tribes, as the legion never returned.

    The Towns of Roman Britain|James Oliver Bevan

  • She constantly wore on her breast the cross of chevalier of the Legion of Honor conferred on her husband by the Emperor.

    Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z|Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe

  • Western gamblers are legion—a reckless, money-plunging, romantic and venturesome yet an admittedly square-shooting clan.

    Hooded Detective, Volume III No. 2, January, 1942|Various

  • He was also made chevalier of nearly all the orders in Italy, and member of the Legion of Honour.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 2|Various

British Dictionary definitions for legion


a military unit of the ancient Roman army made up of infantry with supporting cavalry, numbering some three to six thousand men

any large military forcethe French Foreign Legion

(usually capital)an association of ex-servicementhe British Legion

(often plural)any very large number, esp of people


(usually postpositive)very large or numerous

Word Origin for legion

C13: from Old French, from Latin legio, from legere to choose

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Sours: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/legion

Look up a word, learn it forever.

A legion is a horde or a large number of people or things. It was originally a term for a military unit.

In Roman times, a legion was a large unit of men in the army, and the word is still used in many militaries. However, it also means a whole bunch of people doing anything. If someone has many fans, you can say legion of fans or legions of fans, but either way, that's a lot of fans. There are legions of stars in the sky. When you see legion, you can be sure there's an awful lot of something.

Definitions of legion

  1. noun

    a large military unit

    “the French Foreign Legion

  2. noun

    association of ex-servicemen

    “the American Legion

  3. noun

    archaic terms for army
  4. synonyms:horde, host
  5. adjective

    amounting to a large indefinite number

    “Palomar's fans are legion


    a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number

Sours: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/legion
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Definition of legion in English:


See synonyms for legion

Translate legion into Spanish


  • 1A unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army.

    ‘The most important fighting unit of the Roman Army was the legion commanded by a legatus.’

    • ‘Thus it was Titus who commanded the Roman legions during the famous sack of Jerusalem.’
    • ‘The Roman legions brought peace and prosperity, at least most of the time.’
    • ‘The Gallic charge complete with battle cries was famous, but the discipline of the Roman legions was more effective.’
    • ‘During the Roman conquest, the fort was sacked by Vespasian's legions.’

    brigade, regiment, battalion, company, troop, division, squadron, squad, platoon, contingent, unit, force, corps, garrison, section, group, detachment, commando, battery, band, outfit, cohort

    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the LegionThe Foreign Legion.
    2. 1.2the LegionAny of the national associations of former servicemen and servicewomen instituted after World War I, such as the American Legion.
  • 2a legion/legions ofA vast host, multitude, or number of people or things.

    ‘legions of photographers and TV cameras’

    • ‘She has already won a legion of admirers and a Radio 3 Award for world music.’
    • ‘It'll silence their critics, amaze their fans and win them a whole new legion of admirers.’
    • ‘For the band's legion of fans, Metz's book is a loving walk down memory lane.’
    • ‘Cassidy's legion of admirers might argue that it's enough just to hear her remarkable voice again.’
    • ‘I must make this my project of the decade which should win over a legion of admirers and also the top accolades of the industry.’
    • ‘Deservedly, the DS has garnered a legion of admirers from every generation of drivers born since.’
    • ‘Back in the 1990s Ed Schultz was one of a legion of bombastic conservative talk-radio hosts.’
    • ‘Donie never wanted for company; he had a legion of friends and admirers.’
    • ‘J.J. O'Connor from Castlerea recalls that Jack always had a legion of admirers around the Castlerea era.’
    • ‘Hopefully a whole new legion of admirers will be awakened.’
    • ‘Evidently, her relationship with Nick didn't earn her a legion of admirers.’
    • ‘Hundreds of poignant tributes from Peel's legion of devoted listeners have flooded the messageboards on the BBC.’
    • ‘The former England boss has won a legion of admirers the world over thanks to his honest, forthright views and his overwhelming passion for the game.’
    • ‘He has a legion of admirers and his share of critics.’
    • ‘As it turns out, no one in the real estate community likes this guy and the stories about his stunts are legion.’
    • ‘Nader could once claim a legion of friends and admirers in the world of American progressive politics.’
    • ‘Despite his protests, there is little evidence of the black bags he insists are located under the blue eyes that have won him a legion of female admirers throughout his career.’
    • ‘Wormwood Scrubs is the last place Murphy's legion of admirers would have expected him to end up, as he took second place on Smartie in the Aintree Grand National of 2001.’
    • ‘The two Soweto giants were lying fourth and fifth respectively yesterday behind clubs such as Bloemfontein Celtic and Black Leopards despite their vast legion of supporters.’
    • ‘In BBC hospital drama Casualty, Clive played consultant Mike Barratt, whose combination of beefy good looks and softly-spoken bedside manner won him a legion of admirers.’

    horde, host, throng, multitude, crowd, drove, mass, mob, rabble, gang, swarm, flock, herd, body, pack, score, mountain, army, sea, abundance, profusion

    View synonyms





  • Great in number.

    ‘her fans are legion’

    • ‘His list of friends and admirers there is legion.’
    • ‘Admirers, who are legion according to Chan, call him Little Prince ‘because he's very pretty.’’
    • ‘By contrast, makeshift labs that produce the synthetic drug methamphetamine are legion - thousands of such facilities are busted annually.’
    • ‘The tales of the band's remarkable excesses are legion.’
    • ‘The web sites devoted to Brigitte are of course legion.’
    • ‘The myths surrounding censorship are legion, and are largely based on the unproven premise that screen violence incites people to actual violence.’
    • ‘Books and articles on the tradition of the English country house are legion.’
    • ‘The tales of the band's remarkable excesses are legion.’
    • ‘Examples of costly failures are legion.’
    • ‘Examples of this type of behaviour in the still rather immature PC industry are legion.’
    • ‘The advantages of such an economic re-orientation, meanwhile, would be legion.’
    • ‘Such incidents were legion and the spoils of office could be immense.’
    • ‘"The history is complicated; the factual disputes are legion."’
    • ‘Literary references to wine drinking are legion, presumably because it encouraged conversation, civilized, bawdy, or sometimes nonsensical.’
    • ‘The number of characters confronting inner demons was legion.’
    • ‘The stories about Dan are legion, and don't bear repetition here - although his autobiography is highly recommended.’
    • ‘As with any complex disorder, the therapies purporting to help are legion, and variable in outcome as far as the individual is concerned.’
    • ‘The stories of people duped by these schemes are legion.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, those who detest cricket - and their number is legion - must be wondering whether a six-week exile is the only respite.’
    • ‘The advantages of switching from car to bike are legion.’

    numerous, countless, innumerable, incalculable, immeasurable, untold, endless, limitless, boundless, myriad, many, abundant, plentiful, thick on the ground

    View synonyms





Middle English via Old French from Latin legio(n-), from legere ‘choose, levy’. The adjective dates from the late 17th century, in early use often in the phrase my, their, etc. name is legion, i.e. ‘we, they, etc. are many’ (Mark 5:9).

Sours: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/legion


See also:Legion, légion, andlegión


Reenactment of a Roman legion.


Attested (in Middle English, as legioun) around 1200, from Old Frenchlegion, from Latinlegiō, legionem, from legō(“to gather, collect”); akin to legend, lecture.

Generalized sense of “a large number” is due to an allusive phrase in Mark 5:9, "my name is Legion: for we are many" (KJV).



legion (not comparable)

  1. Numerous; vast; very great in number
    Synonyms:multitudinous, numerous

    Russia’s labor and capital resources are woefully inadequate to overcome the state’s needs and vulnerabilities, which are legion.

    dissatisfied customers and their legion complaints



legion (plurallegions)

  1. (military, Ancient Rome) The major unit or division of the Roman army, usually comprising 3000 to 6000 infantry soldiers and 100 to 200 cavalry troops.
    Meronyms:cohort, maniple, century
  2. (military) A combined arms major military unit featuring cavalry, infantry, and artillery, including historical units such as the British Legion, and present-day units such as the Spanish Legion and the French Foreign Legion.
    Coordinate terms:combat team, regimental combat team, brigade combat team
  3. (military) A large military or semi-militaryunit trained for combat; any military force; an army, regiment; an armed, organized and assembled militia.
  4. (often Legion or the Legion) A national organization or association of former servicemen, such as the American Legion.
  5. A large number of people; a multitude.
    Synonyms:host, mass, multitude, sea, throng
  6. (often plural) A greatnumber.
    • 1735, John Rogers (Canon of Wells.), “Sermon XV. Universal Obedience to the Laws of God, the indispensable Obligation of Christians”, in Nineteen Sermons on several occasions[1]:

      where one Sin has entered, Legions will force their Way through the fame Breach.

    • 2019 May 28, Zachary Karabell, “How Hidden Billions Are Making the Rich Richer”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN0362-4331:

      Legions of lawyers make use of codes and loopholes like the EB-5 program in the United States, whereby anyone who invests $500,000 to $1 million can gain a visa; […]

  7. (dated, taxonomy) A group of orders inferior to a class; in scientific classification, a term occasionally used to express an assemblage of objects intermediate between an order and a class.

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (military unit):fireteam, section, troop, squad, platoon, company, battalion, regiment, brigade, division, corps, wing, army, army group

Related terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


the major unit or division of the Roman army


legion (third-person singular simple presentlegions, present participlelegioning, simple past and past participlelegioned)

  1. (transitive) To form into legions.


  • c.1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC606515358, [Act III, scene iv], page 268, column 1:

    If all / the diuells of hell be drawne in little, and Legion himſelfe / poſſeſt him, yet He ſpeake to him.

  • c.1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC606515358, [Act IV, scene iii], page 146:

    MACDUFF. Not in the Legions / Of horrid Hell, can come a Diuell more damn'd / In euils to top Macbeth.

  • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC964384981, Mark5:9:

    And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

  • 1708, John Philips, Cyder, book II, London: J. Tonson, page 80:

    Now we exult, by mighty ANNA's Care / Secure at home, while She to foreign Realms / Sends forth her dreadful Legions, and restrains / The Rage of Kings

  • 1742, [Edward Young], The Complaint: Or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality, London: […] [Samuel Richardson] for A[ndrew] Millar […], and R[obert] Dodsley […], published 1750, OCLC753424981:

    What can preserve my life, or what destroy ? / An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; / Legions of angels can't confine me there.

  • 1821, Lord Byron, “(please specify the title of the play)”, in Sardanapalus, a Tragedy; The Two Foscari, a Tragedy; Cain, a Mystery, London: John Murray, […], OCLC317087118, Act IV, scene i:

    SAR. I fear it not; but I have felt—have seen— / A legion of the dead.

Further reading[edit]





Ultimately from Latinlēgiō.


legion c (singular definitelegionen, plural indefinitelegioner)

  1. legion




  • IPA(key): /leˈɡion/
  • Hyphenation: le‧gi‧on
  • Rhymes: -ion



  1. accusative singular of legio

Middle French[edit]


(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)



legion f (plurallegions)

  1. (military)legion


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]


Ultimately from Latinlēgiō.


legion m (definite singularlegionen, indefinite plurallegioner, definite plurallegionene)

  1. legion

Further reading[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]


Ultimately from Latinlēgiō.


legion m (definite singularlegionen, indefinite plurallegionar, definite plurallegionane)

  1. legion

Further reading[edit]



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


legion m inan

  1. legion




Ultimately from Latinlēgiō.


legion c

  1. legion



Sours: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/legion

Definition legion



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