Definition of labyrinth
1a : a place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys a complex labyrinth of tunnels and chambersb : a maze (as in a garden) formed by paths separated by high hedges
2 : something extremely complex or tortuous (see tortuous 1) in structure, arrangement, or character : intricacy, perplexity a labyrinth of swamps and channels guided them through the labyrinths of city life — Paul Blanshard
3 : a tortuous anatomical structure; especially : the internal ear or its bony or membranous part
Examples of labyrinth in a Sentence
a complex labyrinth of tunnels and chambers
The cockpit was a labyrinth of instruments and controls.
a labyrinth of social customs and rules
Is there a difference between maze and labyrinth?
Is there a difference between the words maze and labyrinth? Not so much; both words are used in reference to confusing networks of passages or channels, or for a thing that is complicated or confusingly elaborate. However, in origin the two words are quite different. Maze is presumed to come from an unrecorded Old English word masian (“to confuse”), whereas labyrinth has a more classical pedigree.
Ancient Greek legends tell of King Minos of Crete, who had the inventor Daedalus create a labyrinth beneath his palace in which was housed the Minotaur, a fearsome monster with the head of a bull and body of a man. The Minotaur was said to have been slain by the Greek hero Theseus, who then managed to find his way out of the labyrinth with the aid of a ball of thread that had been given to him by Ariadne, the daughter of Minos.
Origin and Etymology of labyrinth
Middle English laborintus, from Latin labyrinthus, from Greek labyrinthos
First Known Use: 14th century
LABYRINTH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of labyrinth for English Language Learners
: a place that has many confusing paths or passages
: something that is extremely complicated or difficult to understand
LABYRINTH Defined for Kids
Definition of labyrinth for Students
: a place that has many confusing paths and passages
Seen and Heard
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