- Obs. a male attendant; page or squire
- a trusted helper or follower
- ⌂ a political underling who seeks mainly to advance his own interests
- ⌂ any of the followers of a criminal gang leader
Origin of henchmanMiddle English henxtman, hencheman ; from Old English hengest, stallion (see Hengist) + -man: origin, originally sense probably “horse attendant”
- A loyal and trusted follower or subordinate.
- A person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests.
- A member of a criminal gang.
- Obsolete A page to a prince or other person of high rank.
Origin of henchmanMiddle English hengsman, henshman, servant to a person of rank : hengest, horse (from Old English) + man, man; see man.
From Middle English hencheman, henseman, henxman (“a groom, page, attendant”), from Old English *hengstmann, *hengestmann (“groom”, literally “horseman”), from hengst, hengest (“stallion, horse, steed, gelding”) (from Proto-Germanic *hangistaz (“stallion”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱanḱest-, *kankest- (“horse”)) + mann (“man”). Cognate with German Hengstmann (“a groom”), Icelandic hestamaður (“horseman, groom”). More at man.