hec·​a·​tomb | \ ˈhe-kə-ˌtōm How to pronounce hecatomb (audio) \

Definition of hecatomb

1 : an ancient Greek and Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen or cattle
2 : the sacrifice or slaughter of many victims

Examples of hecatomb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. John P.a. Ioannidis, STAT, "A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data," 17 Mar. 2020 After the hecatombs created in communism’s name, such a call to arms is evidence of a faith untroubled when prophecy fails again and again. Andrew Stuttaford, WSJ, "The Road to Red October," 29 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hecatomb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hecatomb

circa 1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hecatomb

Latin hecatombe, from Greek hekatombē, from hekaton hundred + -bē; akin to Greek bous cow — more at hundred, cow

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Time Traveler for hecatomb

Time Traveler

The first known use of hecatomb was circa 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Hecatomb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hecatomb. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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