Word of the Day : March 7, 2016

babel

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noun BAY-bul

Definition

1 : (sometimes capitalized Babel) a confusion of sounds or voices

2 : (sometimes capitalized Babel) a scene of noise or confusion

Did You Know?

The story of the Tower of Babel comes from the Bible, specifically, Genesis 11:4-9. It describes an attempt by Noah's descendants to build a giant tower that would reach to heaven. God interrupted the project, however, by causing the builders to begin speaking different languages. Construction of the tower ceased, and the people were dispersed over the Earth. The account of the Tower of Babel, which may have been inspired by an actual tower in Babylonia, is generally read as an attempt to explain the diversity of languages. The story has also given English a word for any situation that calls to mind the noisy chaos that would surely have ensued as the workers first tried to communicate using different languages.


Examples

Amidst the babel in the auditorium, Kathy thought she could hear someone calling her name.

"A steady stream of travelers dragging wheeled suitcases and speaking a Babel of tongues is helping revive downtown Jamaica, a vibrant hub of Queens that weathered several gloomy decades of decay and crime." — Joseph Berger, The New York Times, 30 Dec. 2011



Test Your Memory

What is the name of the king of Shinar who, in some accounts, attempted to build the Tower of Babel and whose name can refer to a hunter? (Hint: His name was the February 17th Word of the Day.)

VIEW THE ANSWER

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'Apposite' — Video Word of the Day 5/24/2019

adj. - highly pertinent or appropriate


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