[ hek-uh-tohm, -toom ]
/ ˈhɛk əˌtoʊm, -ˌtum /


(in ancient Greece and Rome) a public sacrifice of 100 oxen to the gods.
any great slaughter: the hecatombs of modern wars.


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Origin of hecatomb

1585–95; < Latin hecatombē < Greek hekatómbē < *hekatombwā, equivalent to hékaton one hundred + *-bwā, taken to be a derivative of boûs ox (see cow1)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hecatomb

British Dictionary definitions for hecatomb

/ (ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm, -ˌtuːm) /


(in ancient Greece or Rome) any great public sacrifice and feast, originally one in which 100 oxen were sacrificed
a great sacrifice

Word Origin for hecatomb

C16: from Latin hecatombē, from Greek hekatombē, from hekaton hundred + bous ox
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