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Mecca

[mek-uh]
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noun
  1. Also Makkah, Mekka. a city in and the capital of Hejaz, in W Saudi Arabia: birthplace of Muhammad; spiritual center of Islam.
  2. (often lowercase) any place that many people visit or hope to visit: The president's birthplace is a mecca for his admirers.
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Related formsMec·can, adjective, noun

Hijaz

or He·djaz, He·jaz

[hee-jaz; Arabic hee-zhahz]
noun
  1. a region in Saudi Arabia bordering on the Red Sea, formerly an independent kingdom: contains the Islamic holy cities of Medina and Mecca. About 150,000 sq. mi. (388,500 sq. km). Capital: Mecca.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

heart, hub, destination, focus, aim, purpose, capital, objective

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British Dictionary definitions for mecca

Mecca

Mekka

noun
  1. a city in W Saudi Arabia, joint capital (with Riyadh) of Saudi Arabia: birthplace of Mohammed; the holiest city of Islam, containing the Kaaba. Pop: 1 529 000 (2005 est)Arabic name: Makkah
  2. (sometimes not capital) a place that attracts many visitorsAthens is a Mecca for tourists
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Hijaz

noun
  1. a variant spelling of Hejaz
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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 mecca

Mecca

Arabic Makkah, sacred city of Islam, birthplace of Muhammad, which every Muslim must visit at least once. Origins have been proposed in Phoenician maqaq "ruined" or Arabic mahrab "sanctuary." Figurative sense of "any place one holds supremely sacred" (usually with lower-case m-) is in English from 1850. Related: Meccan.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mecca in Culture

Mecca

The birthplace of Muhammad, and thus the holiest city for Muslims. Muslims face in the direction of Mecca when they pray, and they are expected to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives. Mecca is in present-day Saudi Arabia.

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Note

Figuratively, a “mecca” is any place that attracts a great many people, especially for a particular reason: “Vail is a mecca for skiers.”

Mecca

City in western Saudi Arabia.

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Note

As the place where Mohammed the prophet was born in the sixth century, it is the holiest city of Islam and the destination of numerous Muslim pilgrims.

Note

A “mecca” is a place that attracts people: “Hollywood is a mecca for would-be actors and actresses.”
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.