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

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 likely an exaggeration or misinterpretation of actual events, but it spread throughout Europe. The tale caught the imagination of English listeners, and they began using juggernaut to refer to any massive vehicle (such as a steam locomotive) and 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 flavor juggernaut in the ice cream category is legendary. Louis Biscotti, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Abhijay Prakash has been named president of Blumhouse, the genre juggernaut founded by Jason Blum over twenty years ago. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 16 May 2022 The Japanese juggernaut came correct this year with the aforementioned Kodo, but also with this GMT, which keeps time in two zones and features GS’s signature Spring Drive movement and an exceedingly sporty case design. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, 12 Apr. 2022 But none of this has slowed down the juggernaut that is the city’s elite social scene. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2022 The entertainment juggernaut that was founded in California continues to deepen its investments in Florida. Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Apr. 2022 South Carolina, the juggernaut that lost only two games, including the Southeastern Conference tournament championship, earned the national competition’s top seed and will anchor the Greensboro quadrant of the bracket. New York Times, 13 Mar. 2022 North Little Rock is a team many in the state believe is the best boys team since the West Memphis juggernaut from the late 1970s and early 19080s led by Keith Lee and Michael Cage. Chip Souza, Arkansas Online, 10 Mar. 2022 That could amplify attention to the conservative juggernaut. Joan Biskupic, CNN, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of juggernaut was in 1841

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Juggernaut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juggernaut. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on juggernaut

Nglish: Translation of juggernaut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about juggernaut


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