Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Her’od.

 Heroic Verse.Herod’s Death (Acts xii. 23). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A child-killer; from Herod the Great, who ordered the massacre of the babes in Bethlehem. (Matt. ii. 16.)   1
   To out-herod Herod. To out-do in wickedness, violence, or rant, the worst of tyrants. Herod, who destroyed the babes of Bethlehem, was made (in the ancient mysteries) a ranting, roaring tyrant; the extravagance of his rant being the measure of his bloody-mindedness. (See PILATE.)   2
        “Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings … . it out-herods Herod.”—Shakespeare: Hamlet, iii. 2.

 Heroic Verse.Herod’s Death (Acts xii. 23). 


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