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 Makkah (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 Meccan (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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Residents can still enjoy access and walkability to some of Houston’s greatest shopping meccas, restaurants, and resources for everyday needs. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life: Mid-rises present range of locations, showcase amenities," 21 July 2019 Even in a place like Texas, long hailed a Republican mecca, both Harris and Warren have gained ground on Trump, with Quinnipiac now saying that Harris trails Trump by four points and Warren by only one. Lily Herman,, "Yes, A Woman Can Beat Trump In 2020. Here's How.," 15 June 2019 The tour was salvaged by a visit to their mecca, Chess Studios at 2120 S. Michigan Ave. Greg Kot,, "The Rolling Stones just can't shake the Chicago blues," 13 June 2019 Andrew Balducci, the New Yorker whose famed Greenwich Village gourmet food mecca attracted fans including Anna Wintour, Lou Reed and Lena Horne, died March 22 at a hospital in Roslyn, N.Y. Staff Reports, Washington Post, "Andrew Balducci, who built an Italian food mecca in New York, dies at 92," 1 Apr. 2018 Some tech executives and economists, however, believe that growing delays and backlogs for permits for skilled workers at America’s other borders pose a more significant challenge to the U.S.’s standing as a wealth-creating start-up mecca. Alana Semuels, Time, "Tech Companies Say it's Too Hard to Hire High-Skilled Immigrants in the U.S. — So They're Growing in Canada Instead," 25 July 2019 In recent years, Venice has embraced its free-spirited nature and elevated itself into a mecca for art, technology, and some seriously great grub. Jessi Walker, Marie Claire, "Take the Ultimate Southern California Road Trip," 27 June 2019 Just a few notable brands the beauty mecca carries are Dr. Jart+, Neogen, and Hada Labo — though the selection is seemingly endless. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "K-Beauty Retailer Olive Young Now Ships to the States," 17 June 2019 But the other Chinese mining mecca is Inner Mongolia, which runs on coal. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Bitcoin's Climate Impact Is Global. The Cures Are Local.," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for mecca

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for mecca

The first known use of mecca was in 1843

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on mecca

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mecca

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mecca

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

Comments on mecca

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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