[bab-uh-luh n, -lon]


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.
any rich and magnificent city believed to be a place of excessive luxury and wickedness.
a city on S Long Island, in SE New York.


[bab-uh-loh-nee-uh, -lohn-yuh]


an ancient empire in SW Asia, in the lower Euphrates valley: its greatest period was 2800–1750 b.c. Capital: Babylon. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for babylon

Contemporary Examples of babylon

Historical Examples of babylon

  • But Babylon was made into one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • It reminds me, a captive by the waters of Babylon, that God is ever with the friendless.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Like the handwriting on the wall in Babylon, it had taken place in silence.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • The prophet Daniel speaks more than once of the magicians of Babylon.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • Because if we are to join him at all, we must march right past Babylon itself.



British Dictionary definitions for babylon



the chief city of ancient Mesopotamia: first settled around 3000 bcSee also Hanging Gardens of Babylon
offensive (in Protestant polemic) the Roman Catholic Church, regarded as the seat of luxury and corruption
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

Word Origin for Babylon

via Latin and Greek from Hebrew Bābhél; see Babel



the southern kingdom of ancient Mesopotamia: a great empire from about 2200–538 bc, when it was conquered by the Persians
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 babylon


mid-14c., from Greek version of Akkadian Bab-ilani "the gate of the gods," from bab "gate" + ilani, plural of ilu "god" (cf. Babel). The Old Persian form, Babiru-, shows characteristic transformation of -l- to -r- in words assimilated from Semitic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

babylon in Culture


[(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.)


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.


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.