Word of the Day : September 16, 2016

juggernaut

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noun JUG-er-nawt

Definition

1 : (chiefly British) a large heavy truck
2 : a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path

Did You Know?

In the early 14th century, Franciscan missionary Friar Odoric brought to Europe the story of an enormous carriage that carried an image of the Hindu god Vishnu (whose title was Jagannath, literally, "lord of the world") through the streets of India in religious processions. Odoric reported that some worshippers deliberately allowed themselves to be crushed beneath the vehicle's wheels as a sacrifice to Vishnu. That story was probably an exaggeration or misinterpretation of actual events, but it spread throughout Europe anyway. The tale caught the imagination of English listeners, and by the 19th century, they were using juggernaut to refer to any massive vehicle (such as a steam locomotive) or to any other enormous entity with powerful crushing capabilities.


Examples

Led by their talented shooting guard, the high school's basketball team was a juggernaut, winning the state championship three years in a row.

"Under [Helen Gurley] Brown's editorship, Cosmo became a cultural juggernaut. Its articles covered just about every topic its young female readers wanted to read about…." — Kate Tuttle, The Arizona (Tucson) Daily Star, 21 Aug. 2016



Test Your Memory

Hypocorism (our August 21st Word of the Day) is the use of what type of names?

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