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Related to Fenian: Fenian Brotherhood


1. One of a legendary group of heroic Irish warriors of the second and third centuries ad.
2. 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.

[From 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.]

Fe′ni·an adj.
Fe′ni·an·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) (formerly) a member of an Irish revolutionary organization founded in the US in the 19th century to fight for an independent Ireland
2. (European Myth & Legend) Irish myth one of the Fianna
3. derogatory offensive an Irish Catholic or a person of Irish Catholic descent
(Historical Terms) of or relating to the Fenians
[C19: from Irish Gaelic fēinne, plural of fian band of warriors]
ˈFenianism n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfi ni ən, ˈfin yən)

1. a member of an Irish revolutionary organization founded in New York in 1858, which worked for the establishment of an independent Irish republic.
2. a member of a band of warriors whose deeds formed the subject matter of a cycle of Irish legends.
[1810–20; < Irish féinne]
Fe′ni•an•ism, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The name is that of Michael O'Neill, popularly called Prince Michael, partly because he claimed descent from ancient Fenian princes, and partly because he was credited with a plan to make himself prince president of Ireland, as the last Napoleon did of France.
There had never been any wearing of the green, any Fenian conspiracies, any land disturbances.
He also claims he's still waiting for a similar apology to the one Kilmarnock boss Steve Clark received from the Ibrox board last season for being called a 'Fenian b***d' after years of PAGE 78
It is 15 years since Martin O'Neill stated that Lennon, then a midfielder with the Parkhead club, suffered "racial and sectarian" abuse at the Govan ground, and as the Celtic manager prepared for the first derby of the season, he agreed that it now appears Uefa has recognised that the use of "Fenian" as an epithet in abusive or threatening chants is racially charged in being anti-Irish Catholic.
O'Neill (1839-1878), a veteran of the Union Army's 5th Indiana Cavalry, who invaded Canada with the Irish Fenian Brotherhood in 1866 in an effort to free Ireland from British rule.
McClean tweeted a pictured of the card wth the caption 'No words needed', where phrases such as "Fenian sub human b***d" and "Happy Birthday and die on April 22" can clearly be read.
Clarke launched a blistering attack on a section of Rangers supporters who taunted him with chants of "Fenian b***" towards the end of Wednesday's Scottish Cup fifth round hammering.
Clarke, fuming at the red card shown to Kilmarnock goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann early in the match, was greeted with chants of "sad Fenian b***" during the match.
"To the section of uneducated cavemen in left-hand corner of the Boothen End stand that want to sing their anti-Irish song every game and call me a Fenian this and that...
Synopsis: Devoted to free Ireland from British dominance, Jeremiah Knox joined the Fenian Brotherhood in the late 1880s committed to remove the British by military insurrection.