See also: -trophy


A trophy.



From Middle French trophée, from Latin trophaeum (a sign of victory, a monument), tropaeum, from Ancient Greek τρόπαιον (trópaion, monument of an enemy's defeat), from neuter of τροπαῖος (tropaîos, of defeat), from τροπή (tropḗ, a rout, a turning of an enemy).





trophy (plural trophies)

Trophy at Gloriette Schönbrunn (Austria) (sense 6)
  1. An object, usually in the form of a statuette, cup, or shield, awarded for success in a competition or to mark a special achievement.
    He won the trophy in a running competition.
  2. An object taken as a prize by a hunter, or a conqueror or belligerent, especially one that is displayed.
    Coordinate term: prize
    The set of antlers which hung on the wall was his prized trophy.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Seventh Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Around the posts hung helmets, darts, and spears, / And captive chariots, axes, shields, and bars, / And broken beaks of ships, the trophies of their wars.
    • 2011 July 26, L. Samuelson, Tankograd: The Formation of a Soviet Company Town: Cheliabinsk, 1900s-1950s, Springer, →ISBN, page 200:
      Similarly, the Soviet defence industry tested their guns by firing against German trophy tanks or fired against new Soviet vehicles with German guns or German ammunition.
  3. Any emblem of success; a status symbol.
    His trophies included his second wife, his successful children, the third and fourth homes in Palm Beach and Malibu, and his three yachts.
    • 2018 June 8, Scott Reyburn, “Art Is Becoming a Financial Product, and Blockchain Is Making It Happen”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      “The stakes are getting so high,” Mr. MacDonald-Korth said in a telephone interview, referring to the skyrocketing amounts being paid for trophy works of art.
  4. (criminology, by extension) An object taken by a serial killer or rapist as a memento of the crime.
  5. (historical, Ancient Rome) A tropæum.
  6. (art, architecture) A display of weaponry and other militaria, often captured from a defeated enemy, as an ornament designed for the purpose of triumphalist display by a victor or as a show of military prowess by a monarch.
    • 1994, Philip Jenkins, Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide[2], →ISBN, page 117:
      The souvenirs which many killers retain of their victims are often described as trophies, and Norman Bates's taxidermic interests derived from the real-life Ed Gein.
    • 2001, R. Michael Gordon, Alias Jack the Ripper: Beyond the Usual Whitechapel Suspects[3], →ISBN, page 82:
      A trophy from this murder would have been of great importance.
    • 2004, Ronald F. Becker, Criminal Investigation[4], →ISBN, page 168:
      The offender is also likely to mentally relive his killings, often with the help of souvenirs or trophies, such as a bracelet or a body part taken from the victim.
  7. An artifact or artwork that has been stolen by a criminal and traded on the black market.
  8. An animal killed by a trophy hunter that usually has its parts sold on the black market.

Derived terms



  • Japanese: トロフィー (torofī)
  • Korean: 트로피 (teuropi)
  • Malayalam: ട്രോഫി (ṭrōphi)





trophy (third-person singular simple present trophies, present participle trophying, simple past and past participle trophied)

  1. (transitive) To adorn with trophies.
  2. (intransitive) To win a trophy in a competition.
    • 2021, “Harold C. 'Todd' Freeman, III”, in Star Tribune[5]:
      He trophied at the 1993, 1994, 2012 and 2015 National Championships and was most proud of winning his class at the 2017 Spring Nationals.