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.
Discipline prevailed: in five minutes the confused throng was resolved into order, and comparative silence quelled the Babel clamour of tongues.
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.
In an office that might have been on the ground-floor of the Tower of Babel, it was so massively constructed, we were presented to our old schoolmaster; who was one of a group, composed of two or three of the busier sort of magistrates, and some visitors they had brought.
And here let those Who boast in mortal things, and wondring tell Of BABEL, and the works of MEMPHIAN Kings, Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame, And Strength and Art are easily outdone By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour What in an age they with incessant toyle And hands innumerable scarce perform Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd, That underneath had veins of liquid fire Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude With wondrous Art founded the massie Ore, Severing each kinde, and scum'd the Bullion dross: A third as soon had form'd within the ground A various mould, and from the boyling cells By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook, As in an Organ from one blast of wind To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.
This babel of inventors and pretenders amazed Bell and disconcerted his backers.
Felicite evoked Paradise, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the blazing cities, the dying nations, the shattered idols; and out of this she developed a great respect for the Almighty and a great fear of His wrath.
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.
As a flock of daws or starlings fall to screaming and chattering when they see a falcon, foe to all small birds, come soaring near them, even so did the Achaean youth raise a babel of cries as they fled before Aeneas and Hector, unmindful of their former prowess.
But the builders of the Tower of Babel were quite modest and domestic people, like mice, compared with old Aladdin.
It was spoiled by Jeanne, who seized Paul by the arm and shook him, adding her own voice to the babel.
Quickly the waitress returns bearing what is apparently a model of the Tower of Babel but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers.