Pyrrhic victory


a victory or goal achieved at too great a cost.
Compare Cadmean victory.

[Origin: 1880–85; < Gk Pyrrikós; after a remark attributed by Plutarch to Pyrrhus, who declared, after a costly victory over the Romans, that another similar victory would ruin him] Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.