- Trojan horse
1. Class. Myth. a gigantic hollow wooden horse, left by the Greeks upon their pretended abandonment of the siege of Troy. The Trojans took it into Troy and Greek soldiers concealed in the horse opened the gates to the Greek army at night and conquered the city.2. a person or thing intended to undermine or destroy from within.3. a nonreplicating computer program planted illegally in another program to do damage locally when the software is activated.
* * *huge, hollow wooden horse constructed by the Greeks to gain entrance into Troy during the Trojan War. The horse was built by Epeius, master carpenter and pugilist. The Greeks, pretending to desert the war, sailed to the nearby island of Tenedos, leaving behind Sinon, who persuaded the Trojans that the horse was an offering to Athena that would make Troy impregnable. Despite the warnings of Laocoon (Laocoön) and Cassandra (qq.v.), the horse was taken inside. That night warriors emerged from it and opened the city's gates to the returned Greek army. The story is told at length in Book II of the Aeneid and is touched upon in the Odyssey. The term Trojan horse has come to refer to subversion introduced from the outside.
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