roman holiday

roman holiday
Usage: usually capitalized R
Etymology: so called from the bloody combats staged as entertainment in ancient Rome
a. : an event or occasion resembling the games or gladiatorial combats of the ancient Roman circus (as for spectacle or savagery provided or demanded as a source of sadistic pleasure for onlookers)
b. : a time of enjoyment derived from the sufferings or losses of others or the source of such enjoyment

our own fliers seemed to be letting the Jerries have a Roman holiday at our expense — E.V.Westrate

diplomats who felt themselves merely victims to be sacrificed every four years to make a Roman holiday for a new president — Emily Bax

2. : a public dispute, investigation, or turmoil in which the participants inflict embarrassment, degradation, or ignominy on each other or themselves often at the direction or to the satisfaction of nonparticipants

persons charging police brutality have had a Roman holiday in making these charges but not following them up — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union

the investigation was accompanied by reams of publicity and millionaires were summoned by the score to make a Roman holidayAmerican Mercury

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roman holiday — occasion on which entertainment or profit is derived from injury or death, 1860, originally in reference to holidays for gladiatorial combat; the expression seems to be entirely traceable to an oft quoted passage on a dying barbarian gladiator… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Roman holiday — ► NOUN ▪ an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from the suffering of others. ORIGIN from Byron s poem Childe Harold (1818), originally with reference to a holiday given for a gladiatorial combat …   English terms dictionary

  • Roman holiday — n. [after the ancient Roman gladiatorial contests] entertainment acquired at the expense of others suffering, or a spectacle yielding such entertainment …   English World dictionary

  • Roman Holiday — Infobox Film name = Roman Holiday caption = Promotional movie poster for the film imdb id = 0046250 producer = William Wyler director = William Wyler writer = Dalton Trumbo (story) Ian McLellan Hunter John Dighton (screenplay) starring = Gregory… …   Wikipedia

  • Roman Holiday — Vacances romaines Vacances romaines Audrey Hepburn et Gregory Peck Titre original Vacances …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roman Holiday — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Ein Herz und eine Krone Originaltitel: Roman Holiday Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1953 Länge: 113 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roman holiday — noun an occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from others suffering. Origin C19: from Byron s Childe Harold, orig. with ref. to a holiday given for a gladiatorial combat …   English new terms dictionary

  • Roman holiday — noun Date: 1886 1. a time of debauchery or of sadistic enjoyment 2. a destructive or tumultuous disturbance ; riot …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Roman Holiday — …   Википедия

  • Roman holiday — 1. a public spectacle or controversy marked by barbarism, vindictiveness, or scandal. 2. pleasure or advantage gained from the discomfort or suffering of others. [1885 90] * * * …   Universalium