[ bab-uh-luhn, -lon ]

  1. an ancient city of SW Asia, on the Euphrates River, famed for its magnificence and culture: capital of Babylonia and later of the Chaldean empire.

  2. any rich and magnificent city believed to be a place of excessive luxury and wickedness.

  1. a city on S Long Island, in SE New York.

Words Nearby Babylon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Babylon in a sentence

  • Ezechias shews all his treasures to the ambassadors of Babylon: upon which Isaias foretells the Babylonish captivity.

  • As a nation, after the return from Babylon, under Nehemiah, the whole people and their rulers also entered into covenant with God.

  • The prophet foretells the seventy years captivity; after that the destruction of Babylon, and other nations.

  • And all this land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment: and all these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

  • The prophet sends chains to divers kings, signifying that they must bend their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon.

British Dictionary definitions for Babylon


/ (ˈbæbɪlən) /

  1. the chief city of ancient Mesopotamia: first settled around 3000 bc: See also Hanging Gardens of Babylon

  2. offensive (in Protestant polemic) the Roman Catholic Church, regarded as the seat of luxury and corruption

  1. derogatory any society or group in a society considered as corrupt or as a place of exile by another society or group, esp White Britain as viewed by some West Indians

Origin of Babylon

via Latin and Greek from Hebrew Bābhél; see Babel

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

Cultural definitions for Babylon (1 of 2)


[ (bab-uh-luhn, bab-uh-lon) ]

The capital of the ancient empire of Babylonia, which conquered Israel in the sixth century b.c. The Jews (see also Jews) were exiled to Babylon, which they found luxurious and corrupt. The prophet Daniel became a counselor to the king of Babylon (see the handwriting on the wall), and eventually the Israelites were allowed to return to their homeland. (See also Daniel in the lions' den.)

Notes for Babylon

A “Babylon” is any place of sin and corruption.

[ (bab-uh-luhn, bab-uh-lon) ]

A city in ancient Mesopotamia, famed for its hanging gardens (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and for the sensual lifestyle of its people.

Notes for Babylon

The Jews (see also Jews) were taken captive into Babylon in the sixth century b.c. (See also under “The Bible.”)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.