Juggernaut(redirected from Juggernaught)
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An overwhelming or unstoppable force: "With the newly empowered juggernaut of the Pentagon bureaucracy gaining momentum, the president was no longer in control" (James Carroll).
[Hindi jagannāth, title of Krishna, from Sanskrit jagannāthaḥ, lord of the world : jagat, moving, the world (from earlier present participle of jigāti, he goes; see gwā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + nāthaḥ, lord (from nāthate, he helps, protects).]
Word History: For centuries, the Indian city of Puri has held an annual festival in honor of the god Krishna, worshiped under his Sanskrit title Jagannāthaḥ, "Lord of the World." In the middle of the rainy season, devotees transport highly adorned figures representing Krishna, his brother Baladeva, and his half-sister Subhadra from the temple where they usually reside to another temple some two and a half miles away. There, Krishna enjoys the new locale until his return a week or two later. Krishna and his siblings are transported in three chariots—massive towerlike structures about 45 feet high, mounted on many wheels, and lavishly decorated. Thousands of devotees pull the chariots with ropes and are cheered on by a crowd of over a million pilgrims. Worshipers try to obtain blessings by touching the ropes, and some have been crushed in the throng or have fallen under the wheels. Early Western observers in colonial India greatly exaggerated the number of these deaths, however, and sensationalized reports of the incidents led to the borrowing of Jagannāthaḥ into English as juggernaut, "an irresistible force that rolls unstoppably over its victims."
1. (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
2. (Hinduism) a form of Krishna miraculously raised by Brahma from the state of a crude idol to that of a living god
[C17: from Hindi Jagannath, from Sanskrit Jagannātha lord of the world (that is, Vishnu, chief of the Hindu gods), from jagat world + nātha lord]
1. any terrible force, esp one that destroys or that demands complete self-sacrifice
2. (Automotive Engineering) Brit a very large lorry for transporting goods by road, esp one that travels throughout Europe
Jug•ger•naut(ˈdʒʌg ərˌnɔt, -ˌnɒt)
1. (often l.c.) any large, overpowering, destructive force or object.
2. (often l.c.) anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice.
3. an idol of Krishna, at Puri in Orissa, India, annually drawn on a huge cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed.
[1630–40; < Hindi Jagannāth < Skt Jagannātha lord of the world]
juggernaut- Derived from Sanskrit Jagannamacrtha, "lord of the world," a title of Krishna, worshipped at an annual festival by the dragging of his image through the streets in a heavy chariot.
See also related terms for streets.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||juggernaut - a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way|
|2.||Juggernaut - an avatar of Vishnu|
|3.||Juggernaut - a crude idol of Krishna|
(Brit: = lorry) → Schwerlaster m
(Rel) Juggernaut → Dschagannath m, → Jagannath m
(fig: = destructive force) → verheerende Gewalt; a media juggernaut → ein Medienkonglomerat nt; the military juggernaut → der Militärapparat; the juggernaut of British government → die unaufhaltsame britische Regierungsmaschinerie; Puritanism, like some huge juggernaut, swept across the country → der Puritanismus rollte mit unaufhaltsamer Gewalt über das Land