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

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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

Denver was a regular-season juggernaut last year that now features playoff experience and a wild card in Michael Porter Jr. Don’t sleep on these two teams. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers: Sign-and-Trades, Celtics Haters and More," 2 July 2019 It was broadcast live on multiple networks, an event reserved for heads of state, and was a ratings juggernaut with over 31 million people watching. Courtney E. Smith, refinery29.com, "10 Years After Michael Jackson’s Death, The King Of Pop’s Legacy Is In Shambles," 25 June 2019 Despite having long, athletic rosters for the past few seasons, Milwaukee hadn't been a defensive juggernaut. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks' Mike Budenholzer named NBA 2018-19 coach of year," 24 June 2019 Five of the six big studios today—Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox—are bound by the decrees; only Walt Disney Co. , which wasn’t a juggernaut in 1948, is not. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Now Showing: U.S. Mulls Changing Movie Rules for the Big Screen," 2 Dec. 2018 Unlike the persistent debate over how to pronounce their name (it’s Sloth-rust, officially), the LA-by-way-of-New York power trio is a juggernaut of cannonball riffs and lyrical intrigue. Chris Payne, Billboard, "Slothrust Announce New Album, Premiere Fuzzy Grunge-Pop Track 'Peach': Exclusive," 28 June 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near juggernaut

juger

jugful

jugger

juggernaut

juggins

juggle

juggler

Statistics for juggernaut

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for juggernaut

The first known use of juggernaut was in 1841

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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

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