[ juhg-er-nawt, -not ]
/ ˈdʒʌg ərˌnɔt, -ˌnɒt /
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(often lowercase) any large, overpowering, destructive force or object, as war, a giant battleship, or a powerful football team.
(often lowercase) anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice.
Also called Jagannath. an idol of Krishna, at Puri in Odisha, India, annually drawn on an enormous cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed.
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Origin of Juggernaut

From Hindi Jagannāth, from Sanskrit Jagannātha- “lord of the world” (i.e., the god Vishnu or Krishna), equivalent to jagat “moving, the world” (the present participle of jagāti, jigāti “he, she, it goes,” from the same root as gamāti “he goes”) + nātha- “lord, protector”; def. 3 was first recorded in 1630–40; defs. 1, 2 were first recorded in 1840–45; see origin at come


Jug·ger·naut·ish, adjective

Words nearby Juggernaut

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Juggernaut in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Juggernaut (1 of 2)

/ (ˈdʒʌɡəˌnɔːt) /

any terrible force, esp one that destroys or that demands complete self-sacrifice
British a very large lorry for transporting goods by road, esp one that travels throughout Europe

British Dictionary definitions for Juggernaut (2 of 2)

/ (ˈdʒʌɡəˌnɔːt) /

noun Hinduism
a crude idol of Krishna worshipped at Puri and throughout Odisha (formerly Orissa) and Bengal. At an annual festival the idol is wheeled through the town on a gigantic chariot and devotees are supposed to have formerly thrown themselves under the wheels
a form of Krishna miraculously raised by Brahma from the state of a crude idol to that of a living god

Word Origin for Juggernaut

C17: from Hindi Jagannath, from Sanskrit Jagannātha lord of the world (that is, Vishnu, chief of the Hindu gods), from jagat world + nātha lord
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 Juggernaut

[ (jug-uhr-nawt) ]

A deity in Hinduism, considered a deliverer from sin. His image is carried on a large wagon in an annual procession in India, and according to legend the wagon crushed worshipers who threw themselves under it.

notes for Juggernaut

A force, an idea, or a system of beliefs that overcomes opposition — especially if it does so ruthlessly — is called a “juggernaut.”
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.