babel


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Ba·bel

 (bā′bəl, băb′əl)
In the Bible, a city (now thought to be Babylon) in Shinar where God confounded a presumptuous attempt to build a tower into heaven by confusing the language of its builders into many mutually incomprehensible languages.

ba·bel

also Ba·bel  (băb′əl, bā′bəl)
n.
1. A confusion of sounds or voices: passengers chattering in a babel of tongues at the international airport.
2. A scene or situation of confusion: "a babel of commemorative ceremonies, statues, and tombs sponsored by competing cults of martyred revolutionaries" (Thomas L. Benjamin).

[After Babel.]

Babel

(ˈbeɪbəl)
n
1. (Bible) Old Testament
a. Also called: Tower of Babel a tower presumptuously intended to reach from earth to heaven, the building of which was frustrated when Jehovah confused the language of the builders (Genesis 11:1–9)
b. the city, probably Babylon, in which this tower was supposedly built
2. (often not capital)
a. a confusion of noises or voices
b. a scene of noise and confusion
[from Hebrew Bābhél, from Akkadian Bāb-ilu, literally: gate of God]

Babel

(Russian ˈbabɪl)
n
(Biography) Issak Emmanuilovich (iˈsak imənuˈiləvitʃ) 1894–1941, Russian short-story writer, whose works include Stories from Odessa (1924) and Red Cavalry (1926)

Ba•bel

(ˈbeɪ bəl, ˈbæb əl)

n.
1. an ancient city in Shinar where people began building a tower (Tower of Babel) intended to reach heaven but were forced to abandon their work upon the confusion of their languages by God. Gen. 11:4–9.
2. (usu. l.c.) a confused mixture of sounds or voices.
3. (usu. l.c.) a scene of noise and confusion.
[< Hebrew Bābhel Babylon]
Ba•bel′ic (-ˈbɛl ɪk) adj.

Ba•bel

(ˈbæb əl)

n.
Isaak Emmanuilovich, 1894–1941, Russian author.

Babel

 a confused mixture of sounds, voices, or languages; a confused assembly. See also charivari, hubbub, pandemonium.
Examples: babel of follies, 1529; of past idle objurgations, 1884; of sectaries, 1731; babel towers of chimney, 1848.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.babel - (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heavenBabel - (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heaven; God foiled them by confusing their language so they could no longer understand one another
Book of Genesis, Genesis - the first book of the Old Testament: tells of Creation; Adam and Eve; the Fall of Man; Cain and Abel; Noah and the flood; God's covenant with Abraham; Abraham and Isaac; Jacob and Esau; Joseph and his brothers
Babylon - the chief city of ancient Mesopotamia and capital of the ancient kingdom of Babylonia
2.babel - a confusion of voices and other soundsbabel - a confusion of voices and other sounds
confusion - an act causing a disorderly combination of elements with identities lost and distinctions blended; "the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel"

babel

noun
Sounds or a sound, especially when loud, confused, or disagreeable:
Translations

babel

[ˈbeɪbəl] Nbabel m or f
Tower of BabelTorre f de Babel

babel

[ˈbeɪbəl] n (= babble, hubbub) → brouhaha m
a babel of noise → un brouhaha confus

Babel

n
the Tower of Babel (story) → der Turmbau zu Babel or Babylon; (edifice) → der Babylonische Turm
(also babel) (= confusion)Durcheinander nt; (= several languages)babylonisches Sprachengewirr

Babel

[ˈbeɪbəl] nBabele f
the Tower of Babel → la torre di Babele
References in classic literature ?
For though their progenitors, the builders of Babel, must doubtless, by their tower, have intended to rear the loftiest mast-head in all Asia, or Africa either; yet (ere the final truck was put to it) as that great stone mast of theirs may be said to have gone by the board, in the dread gale of God's wrath; therefore, we cannot give these Babel builders priority over the Egyptians.
A soft babel of feminine chatter and laughter came from the main room.
account of the Deluge; as Babel he had a tower partly erected to his
There were huge, ponderous folios, and quartos, and little duodecimos, in English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, and all other languages that either originated at the confusion of Babel or have since come into use.
But we Folk of the Younger World lacked speech, and whenever we were so drawn together we precipitated babel, out of which arose a unanimity of rhythm that contained within itself the essentials of art yet to come.
The bell again; the glare of light and heat dispelled; the factories, looming heavy in the black wet night - their tall chimneys rising up into the air like competing Towers of Babel.
In answer to her cry a babel of voices broke from the surrounding chambers and corridors.
As he goes back every evening from the crowds of Throgmorton Street to the tree-lined peaceful avenues of Norwood, so he has found it possible in spirit also to do one's duties amidst the babel of the City, and yet to live beyond it.
The guest reclined, inert, upon a chair, while the room, confused in speech as though it were an apartment in Babel, tried to discourse to him of its divers tenantry.
But the builders of the Tower of Babel were quite modest and domestic people, like mice, compared with old Aladdin.
Unbelieving Philosophers who were remodelling the world with words, and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with, talked with Unbelieving Chemists who had an eye on the transmutation of metals, at this wonderful gathering accumulated by Monseigneur.
He comes to a gateway in the brick wall, looks in, and sees a great perplexity of iron lying about in every stage and in a vast variety of shapes--in bars, in wedges, in sheets; in tanks, in boilers, in axles, in wheels, in cogs, in cranks, in rails; twisted and wrenched into eccentric and perverse forms as separate parts of machinery; mountains of it broken up, and rusty in its age; distant furnaces of it glowing and bubbling in its youth; bright fireworks of it showering about under the blows of the steam-hammer; red-hot iron, white-hot iron, cold-black iron; an iron taste, an iron smell, and a Babel of iron sounds.