Cad*me"an(kd*m"n), a. [L. Cadmeus, Gr. Kadmei^os, from Ka`dmos (L. Cadmus), which name perhaps means lit. a man from the East; cf. Heb. qedem east.] Of or pertaining to Cadmus, a fabulous prince of Thebes, who was said to have introduced into Greece the sixteen simple letters of the alphabet -- , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . These are called Cadmean letters.
Cadmean victory, a victory that damages the victors as much as the vanquished; probably referring to the battle in which the soldiers who sprang from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus slew each other. Similar to a Pyhrric victory.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
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Tue 11th December 2018