Babel

noun
Ba·​bel | \ ˈbā-bəl How to pronounce Babel (audio) , ˈba- How to pronounce Babel (audio) \

Definition of Babel

1 : a city in Shinar where the building of a tower is held in Genesis to have been halted by the confusion of tongues
2 or babel
a : a confusion of sounds or voices
b : a scene of noise or confusion

First Known Use of Babel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Babel

Middle English, from Hebrew Bābhel, from Akkadian bāb-ilu gate of god

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Babel

Time Traveler for Babel

Time Traveler

The first known use of Babel was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about Babel

Statistics for Babel

Cite this Entry

“Babel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Babel. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on Babel

What made you want to look up Babel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!