- a lengthy, detailed explanation or account: Just give me the facts, not the whole megillah.
- a lengthy and tediously complicated situation or matter.
- (italics) Hebrew. a scroll, especially one containing the Book of Esther. Others are the Book of Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, the Book of Ruth, and the Book of Lamentations.
Origin of megillah
- a scroll of the Book of Esther, read on the festival of Purim
- a scroll of the Book of Ruth, Song of Songs, Lamentations, or Ecclesiastes
- slang anything, such as a story or letter, that is too long or unduly drawn out
Word Origin and History for megillot
"long, tedious, complicated story," 1957, from Yiddish (e.g. a gantse Megillah "a whole megillah"), literally "roll, scroll," collective name of the five Old Testament books appointed to be read on certain feast days, from Hebrew meghillah, from galal "he rolled, unfolded." The slang use is in reference to the length of the text.