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

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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

The country is an oil-producing juggernaut and has the spare capacity to quickly raise production. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "OPEC, After Bolstering Prices, Considers Ramping Up Oil Production," 22 June 2018 Mexico, expected to be an offensive juggernaut, has scored only one goal since mid-March. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "World Cup: Sunday's matchups," 16 June 2018 With a staff of 30 producing for multiple channels across videos, newsletters, podcasts, and live events, it was hailed as an Internet era juggernaut. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Chris Hardwick Erased From Nerdist Site After Chloe Dykstra's Sexual Abuse Claim," 15 June 2018 Battalion followed in 2017, an Italian juggernaut carved from the bones of an old firehouse. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Reborn Rebelle now San Antonio’s finest seafood restaurant," 14 June 2018 In their scramble to survive against the AMLO juggernaut, the PRD and PAN formed an alliance that undermined their brands. Kenneth F. Greene, Washington Post, "What’s next for Mexico? Here are 5 things you need to know.," 6 July 2018 Creating a frozen-foods juggernaut, similar to Frito-Lay in snacks or General Mills in the cereal aisle, will help drive better deals with distributors and retailers. Aaron Back, WSJ, "A Frozen Foods Deal to Melt the Competition," 27 June 2018 And just this morning, streetwear juggernaut Supreme announced its latest seasonal collaboration with Clarks: a summer-ready version of the Weaver. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Clarks Gives Two Classic Shoes a Super-High-End Upgrade," 23 May 2018 During this same time its neighbor, South Korea, has become an economic juggernaut. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "How both Trump and Kim have already won before they even shake hands," 11 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.

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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

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Statistics for juggernaut

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for juggernaut

The first known use of juggernaut was in 1841

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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

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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