Fenian[fē′nē ən, fēn′yən]
- any of a group of legendary military heroes of ancient Ireland
- ☆ a member of a secret revolutionary movement formed in New York and Ireland to free Ireland from English rule: the movement was most active in the 1860s and continued until WWI
Origin of Fenian; from plural of Irish Gaelic Fiann, the old militia of Ireland, after Finn, Fionn, hero of Irish tradition: associated, association with Old Irish fēne, inhabitant of Ireland
- One of a legendary group of heroic Irish warriors of the second and third centuries AD.
- A member of a secret revolutionary organization in the United States and Ireland in the mid-19th century, dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland.
Origin of FenianFrom alteration (influenced by féne, body of freemen under early Irish law) of Irish Gaelic fianna, bands of young warriors, from Old Irish fíanna, pl. of fían.
- (UK, Ireland) An Irish nationalist or republican.
- (historical) A member of the Fenian Brotherhood or the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Irish republican organizations active in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- (derogatory , Scotland and Northern Ireland) A Catholic, especially one of Irish ethnicity or descent.
- (derogatory , Scotland and Northern Ireland) A supporter of Scottish association football club Celtic F.C.
Blend of Old Irish feinne or fianna, plural of fiann (“soldier”), the name of a legendary band of Irish warriors, and Fene or Féni, legendary settlers of Ireland. First attested from 1816.