[ moh-lok, mol-uhk ]

  1. a deity whose worship was marked by the propitiatory sacrifice of children by their own parents. 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35.

  2. anything conceived of as requiring appalling sacrifice: the Moloch of war.

  1. (lowercase) a spiny agamid lizard, Moloch horridus, of Australian deserts, that resembles the horned lizard.

Origin of Moloch

From Late Latin, from Greek Molóch, from Hebrew Mōlekh, which has the consonants of melekh “king” and the vowels of bōsheth “shame” (caused by idolatry and human sacrifice)
  • Also Mo·lech [moh-lek] /ˈmoʊ lɛk/ (for defs. 1, 2).

Words Nearby Moloch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Moloch in a sentence

  • Ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them.

    The Astronomy of the Bible | E. Walter Maunder

British Dictionary definitions for moloch (1 of 2)


/ (ˈməʊlɒk) /

  1. a spiny Australian desert-living lizard, Moloch horridus, that feeds on ants: family Agamidae (agamas): Also called: mountain devil, spiny lizard

British Dictionary definitions for Moloch (2 of 2)


Molech (ˈməʊlɛk)

/ (ˈməʊlɒk) /

  1. Old Testament a Semitic deity to whom parents sacrificed their children

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 Moloch


[ (moh-lok, mol-uhk) ]

A Canaanite idol who demanded the sacrifice of first-born children. The Old Testament prophets railed against the worship of Moloch by the Israelites.

Notes for Moloch

Moloch also appears as one of the fallen angels in Milton's Paradise Lost and as a malevolent figure in other allegorical works of literature.

Notes for Moloch

By extension, a “Moloch” is something that has the power to exact extreme sacrifice.

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.