noun, often capitalized
mec·​ca | \ ˈme-kə How to pronounce mecca (audio) \

Definition of mecca

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a place regarded as a center for a specified group, activity, or interest a mecca for shoppers


geographical name
Mec·​ca | \ ˈme-kə How to pronounce Mecca (audio) \
variants: or Arabic Makkah \ ˈmä-​kə How to pronounce Mecca (audio) \

Definition of Mecca (Entry 2 of 2)

holy city in western Saudi Arabia population 1,294,106

Note: Mecca is the chief pilgrimage destination for Muslims and the capital of Hejaz.

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Other Words from mecca

Geographical name

Meccan \ ˈme-​kən How to pronounce Mecca (audio) \ adjective or noun

The Figurative Use of Mecca

Mecca is one of a number of place names which have taken on figurative meanings over time. This city in Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Muhammad and the site which Muslims must attempt to visit on a pilgrimage; from its role as a religious destination Mecca began to be used in the early 19th century (sometimes capitalized, and sometimes not) in a non-religious sense. Other locations (some of which are fictional) that have taken on this kind of extended meaning are Eden, Camelot, and Wall Street.

Examples of mecca in a Sentence

Noun The valley is a mecca for wine lovers. The town has become a mecca for tourists.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a stunning and stinging rebuke, Churchill Downs announced Baffert has been banned from racing’s mecca for two years. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2021 Among the litany of loss — at least 248 people dead, tens of thousands more displaced, over 1,000 housing and commercial units damaged — is the destruction of the Samir Mansour Bookstore, a place that for many here was a cultural mecca. Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2021 Angry, gun-toting white mobs had set out under the cover of nightfall in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to kill Black people and destroy Black America’s economic mecca. NBC News, 31 May 2021 From the Hershey's Kisses street lights gracing Chococolate Avenue to the sweet aroma of chocolate that permeates the air just about everywhere, Hershey is a chocolate lovers mecca. Katie Chang, Forbes, 31 May 2021 Hearing the news about the full opening, a staffer at the bar, a mecca for Wild fans, brought back all the tables and chairs that had been placed in storage to comply with previous social distancing guidelines. Alex Chhith, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 In recent years, Comic-Con has been a summertime mecca for fans as well as movie studios, TV networks and celebrities wanting to promote their biggest projects. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2021 Bella Luna & The Milky Way, Jamaica Plain Age: 27 Claim to fame: A neighborhood mecca for pizza, family-friendly service, candlepin bowling, drag nights, themed DJ nights, dance parties, weddings, and more. Kara Baskin,, 3 Sep. 2020 Since Trump left office, Florida has become a mecca of sorts for the GOP. Jack Brewster, Forbes, 4 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mecca.' 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 mecca


1843, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mecca


Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a destination of pilgrims in the Islamic world

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mecca.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for mecca



English Language Learners Definition of mecca

: a city in Saudi Arabia that was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city of Islam
: a place that attracts many people

More from Merriam-Webster on mecca

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mecca

Britannica English: Translation of mecca for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mecca


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