juggernaut

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

Definition of juggernaut

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

  2. 2 chiefly British :  a large heavy truck

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Examples of juggernaut in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of juggernaut from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of juggernaut

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

Other Automotive Terms


JUGGERNAUT Defined for English Language Learners

juggernaut

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noun

Definition of juggernaut for English Language Learners

  • : 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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