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

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 The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is an economic juggernaut and is vital to our continued success as the leading tourist destination in America. Scott Maxwell, OrlandoSentinel.com, "15 questions for the candidates for Orange County mayor. Where do they stand?," 24 May 2018 Jerry Seinfeld The undisputed king of observational stand-up became a juggernaut with the sitcom Seinfeld. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "7 days of things to do in Philadelphia from April 1 to 7," 29 Mar. 2018 Xi’s ability to create a Chinese economic juggernaut, which is what many in the West incorrectly believe exists now, is not possible given the poor, undereducated state of so many of his countrymen. Therese Shaheen, National Review, "The Digital Emperor of China’s Surveillance State," 25 Jan. 2018 Pose, the latest brainchild of television screenwriting juggernaut Ryan Murphy, has already made waves since its grand entrance onto primetime in June. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "Why 'Pose' Didn't Receive Any Emmy Award Nominations," 12 July 2018 Dear White People, unfortunately, was completely shut out despite Netflix's overall juggernaut status, which also somehow failed to get Alison Brie a lead actress in a comedy nomination even though GLOW was nominated for series. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "THR's TV Critics Debate the Highs and Lows of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 Two former pilots for Broad River Aviation Inc., the company that operates the jet used for National Beverage’s executive travel, have filed suit in Florida against the 82-year-old billionaire who has helmed the beverage brand juggernaut since 1985. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "CEO Behind LaCroix Brand Accused of Inappropriately Touching Airplane Pilots," 3 July 2018 Watch Virgil Abloh's First Louis Vuitton Men's Fashion Show Right Here BERTRAND GUAY The Off-White designer's big debut for the French leather goods juggernaut is finally here. Matt Sebra, GQ, "Watch Virgil Abloh's First Louis Vuitton Men's Fashion Show Right Here," 21 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

14 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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