juggernaut

noun
jug·​ger·​naut | \ˈjə-gər-ˌnȯt, -ˌnät\

Definition of juggernaut 

1 : a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path an advertising juggernaut a political juggernaut

2 chiefly British : a large heavy truck

Keep scrolling for more

The History of Juggernaut

In the early 14th century, Franciscan missionary Friar Odoric brought to Europe the story of an enormous carriage that carried an image of the Hindu god Vishnu (whose title was Jagannath, literally, "lord of the world") through the streets of India in religious processions. Odoric reported that some worshippers deliberately allowed themselves to be crushed beneath the vehicle's wheels as a sacrifice to Vishnu. That story was probably an exaggeration or misinterpretation of actual events, but it spread throughout Europe anyway. The tale caught the imagination of English listeners, and by the 19th century, they were using juggernaut to refer to any massive vehicle (such as a steam locomotive) or to any other enormous entity with powerful crushing capabilities.

Examples of juggernaut in a Sentence

there was no escaping the juggernaut of hype for the studio's biggest summer blockbuster

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: American Pie Council Despite squash’s renaissance, the pumpkin brand remains a juggernaut. Robert Mcmillan, WSJ, "Your Pumpkin Pie Has a Dark Secret— It’s Made From Squash," 20 Nov. 2018 For two weeks, a Syrian military juggernaut has borne down on rebels bunkered in the country’s south, leaving them with a grim choice: capitulate or face annihilation. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "As a government offensive bears down on them, Syrian rebels expect no help from onetime ally U.S.," 5 July 2018 The Warriors would likely be the favorites for a title even without Durant, and arguably make more sense on the floor as a KD-less, Steph Curry-centric juggernaut. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Kevin Durant Is in a Tricky Spot," 9 June 2018 Paul Marotta/Getty Images for MIT Solve On this episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka, Stable Genius Productions co-founder Manoush Zomorodi talks about her decision to leave public radio juggernaut WNYC for a two-woman startup. Recode Staff, Recode, "Podcaster Manoush Zomorodi explains blockchain and how it might fix the media," 17 July 2018 That is when Queen Creek Casteel will travel to play 5A juggernaut Peoria Centennial to open the season. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Casteel football taking a big leap of faith with first senior class," 31 May 2018 On Binge Mode, The Ringer’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion recap pop culture juggernauts like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "10 Podcasts You Should Actually Be Listening To," 29 May 2018 Golden State solidified its juggernaut-ness, for the record, by locking down reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Memo to Luke Walton: Here's comes LeBron ... and all that comes with it," 2 July 2018 As the juggernaut of Brexit rolls into view, British politicians seem to be operating under the same delusion. Georgina Voss, The Atlantic, "Brexit Could Cripple Britain’s Ports," 20 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of juggernaut

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for juggernaut

Hindi Jagannāth, literally, lord of the world, title of Vishnu

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about juggernaut

Share juggernaut

Listen to Our Podcast about juggernaut

Dictionary Entries near juggernaut

juger

jugful

jugger

juggernaut

juggins

juggle

juggler

Statistics for juggernaut

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for juggernaut

The first known use of juggernaut was in 1841

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for juggernaut

juggernaut

noun

English Language Learners Definition of juggernaut

: something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped

: a very large, heavy truck

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on juggernaut

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

WORD OF THE DAY

living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!