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ziggurat

[zig-oo-rat]
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noun
  1. (among the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians) a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces.
Also zik·ku·rat, zik·u·rat [zik-oo-rat] /ˈzɪk ʊˌræt/.

Origin of ziggurat

First recorded in 1875–80, ziggurat is from the Akkadian word ziqquratu
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ziggurat

Historical Examples

  • But the things that took place on the ziggurat were invisible to them.

    Istar of Babylon

    Margaret Horton Potter

  • This is the first known mention of the "horns" of a ziggurat, and the exact meaning of the word is doubtful.

  • Near this arose the ziggurat or tower, and many smaller buildings, not unlike private dwellings.

  • The ziggurat at Borsippa had a base of earthwork 272 feet on each side, and was 26 feet high.

  • Every important city had its temple, and attached to its temple its ziggurat, which was a temple-observatory.

    Human Origins

    Samuel Laing


British Dictionary definitions for ziggurat

ziggurat

zikkurat or zikurat (ˈzɪkʊˌræt)

noun
  1. a type of rectangular temple tower or tiered mound erected by the Sumerians, Akkadians, and Babylonians in Mesopotamia. The tower of Babel is thought to be one of these

Word Origin

C19: from Assyrian ziqqurati summit, height
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ziggurat

n.

1858, from Assyrian ziqquratu "height, pinnacle," from zaqaru "to be high."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper