noun, often capitalized
mec·ca | \ˈme-kə \

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 \
variants: or Arabic Makkah \ˈmä-kə \

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 \-kən \ 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


The valley is a mecca for wine lovers. The town has become a mecca for tourists.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her first restaurant opened four years ago in a hotel on the Las Vegas strip; another followed in that gambling mecca this year. Tim Smith,, "Giada De Laurentiis' new restaurant in Horseshoe Casino Baltimore serves up appealing flavors," 28 June 2018 Skier Santiago Guzman: Michelada Santiago Guzman’s family owns the Fresco Bar in the climbing mecca of El Chaltén, Argentina. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "The Best Summer Cocktails," 27 June 2018 Just not in a tourist mecca in the country’s southwest corner bordering Mexico that has a temperate summer climate and a rich history of hosting international soccer games. Mark Zeigler,, "Why San Diego won't be a venue in the 2026 World Cup," 13 June 2018 Betting patterns on the Knights have been atypical, given that the club is the first major professional sports franchise in the country’s mecca of sports gambling. Matt Rybaltowski, New York Times, "The Golden Knights Are on a Roll, Leaving Vegas Oddsmakers to Shudder," 1 May 2018 Thousands of people with TPS work in Orlando’s tourism mecca along International Drive or around Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center. Paul Brinkmann,, "Many in Orlando’s tourism industry fear Haitian, Salvadoran deportations," 16 Mar. 2018 By late Sunday afternoon in the mecca of basketball, the pot was roiling, and Purdue was cooked. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "The secret to Michigan basketball's success? Start with John Beilein," 5 Mar. 2018 Officials there have said that's not a problem because the gambling mecca has numerous venues, including a new arena and smaller arenas attached to casinos. Steve Harrison And Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Democratic City Council member questions hosting 'highly divisive' GOP convention," 3 July 2018 The upmarket meat mecca is a solid affair and popular with business executives. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Frankfurt: A Business Traveler’s Guide," 22 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near mecca








Statistics for mecca

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mecca

The first known use of mecca was in 1843

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More Definitions for mecca



English Language Learners Definition of mecca

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

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Comments on mecca

What made you want to look up mecca? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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