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 Considering the top five movie studios produce about 90 movies a year, NFLX becomes an original content juggernaut with that kind of output. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, "Netflix Earnings: Another Quarter, Another Subscriber Numbers Game," 16 Apr. 2021 Like all humongous-scale legislative efforts, the Biden administration’s new $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan contains surprises—unrelated provisions that are hitching a ride on a juggernaut. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "How much infrastructure is in Biden’s infrastructure plan?," 6 Apr. 2021 Davion Mitchell – the gritty backbone and defensive juggernaut of this team – FaceTimed and hugged the national championship trophy like a toddler with a teddy bear. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "'Make a movie out of it': Go behind the scenes of Baylor's first national championship celebration," 6 Apr. 2021 In a short season with no state championships, Sunset finished off its convincing win over Metro League juggernaut Jesuit on Thursday night with a championship-caliber celebration. oregonlive, "Sunset stamps itself as king of the Metro League this season with a 31-14 win over Jesuit," 2 Apr. 2021 What about the Bronx Zoo Crew, the ever-mighty Yankees, who've seemingly reloaded a juggernaut with starters Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon? Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "MLB predictions 2021: Here's your division winners, World Series champ," 1 Apr. 2021 Of course, that team happened to be a 25-0 Montverde Academy juggernaut that was widely lauded as one of the best high school basketball teams ever assembled. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "Montverde basketball inflates NCAA Tournament with 17 players," 17 Mar. 2021 This week marks the launch of their highest-profile project to date, a reboot of Fox’s fugitive-hunting juggernaut America’s Most Wanted. Rachel Monroe, Vulture, "The Criminal Minds of Jim and Tim," 15 Mar. 2021 Decreased television ratings across the landscape, even for a juggernaut such as the Super Bowl, seemed to indicate not. Howard Fendrich, Chron, "No fans? Some? A mix? Odd sights, sounds of pandemic sports," 10 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for juggernaut

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The first known use of juggernaut was in 1841

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Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Juggernaut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juggernaut. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for juggernaut



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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