hecatomb

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

noun

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

QUIZZES

DIVE INTO THIS BALMY SUMMERTIME SPELLING QUIZ

Do you often fall under the spell of the summer season? See if you can really spell your way through it with this quiz of popular summertime words.
Question 1 of 12

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

hecatomb
/ (ˈhɛkəˌtəʊm, -ˌtuːm) /

noun

(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