juggernaut

noun
jug·​ger·​naut | \ ˈjə-gər-ˌnȯt How to pronounce juggernaut (audio) , -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

The same is true of our conception of freedom, as it was articulated again by Henry Ward Beecher and other great abolitionists in the struggle against the international economic juggernaut of chattel slavery. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 The truth is this juggernaut of a series has been in a valedictory mood for some time now, and never more so than on the eve of its return. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "It’s (Past) Time to Say Goodbye to Game of Thrones," 12 Apr. 2019 Only one Orlando team survived into the quarterfinals of the tournament in Jones High, but the Tigers ran up against the Northwestern juggernaut. Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.com, "Miami Northwestern wins UCF 7 on 7 tournament," 3 June 2019 Amazon is on track to become the next juggernaut of online advertising, ascending to the No. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Amazon’s IMDb Launches Ad-Supported Streaming-Video Service," 10 Jan. 2019 Combined with the criminally underrated Horford, as well as Brown, Smart, Marcus Morris, Rozier and Aron Baynes, the C’s were poised to become another insufferable juggernaut. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "America Would Love These Celtics if They Weren’t From Boston," 17 May 2018 Today’s juggernauts really are massive, and not just in the eyes of exuberant investors. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "On Tech Bubble Anniversary, Be Wary of New Corporate Giants," 8 Mar. 2019 Twitter probably won’t intervene as social media juggernauts have kept out of the issue. Washington Post, "Why a judge says @realDonaldTrump can’t block opponents," 27 May 2018 Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay have been something of a juggernaut in the country music scene lately. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Dan + Shay Explain the Real Meaning Behind 'Tequila'," 3 Apr. 2019

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

Listen to Our Podcast about juggernaut

Dictionary Entries near juggernaut

juger

jugful

jugger

juggernaut

juggins

juggle

juggler

Statistics for juggernaut

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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
British : 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

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!