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An ancient country of southern Mesopotamia in present-day southern Iraq. Archaeological evidence dates the beginnings of Sumer to the fifth millennium bc. By 3000 a flourishing civilization existed, which gradually exerted power over the surrounding area and culminated in the Akkadian dynasty, founded c. 2300 by Sargon I. Sumer declined after 2000 and was later absorbed by Babylonia and Assyria. The Sumerians are believed to have invented the cuneiform system of writing.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Placename) the S region of Babylonia; seat of a civilization of city-states that reached its height in the 3rd millennium bc
2. (Historical Terms) the S region of Babylonia; seat of a civilization of city-states that reached its height in the 3rd millennium bc
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsu mər)

an ancient region in S Mesopotamia containing a number of independent cities and city-states, fl. c3200–2000 b.c.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Sumer - an area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day IraqSumer - an area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day Iraq; site of the Sumerian civilization of city-states that flowered during the third millennium BC
Al-Iraq, Irak, Iraq, Republic of Iraq - a republic in the Middle East in western Asia; the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was in the area now known as Iraq
Babylonia, Chaldaea, Chaldea - an ancient kingdom in southern Mesopotamia; Babylonia conquered Israel in the 6th century BC and exiled the Jews to Babylon (where Daniel became a counselor to the king)
Ur - an ancient city of Sumer located on a former channel of the Euphrates River
Enki - water god and god of wisdom; counterpart of the Akkadian Ea
Enlil, En-lil - god of the air and king of the Sumerian gods
Ereshkigal, Eresh-kigal, Ereshkigel - goddess of death and consort of Nergal
Inanna - consort of Dumuzi (Tammuz)
Ki - goddess personifying earth; counterpart of Akkadian Aruru
Nammu - goddess personifying the primeval sea; mother of the gods and of heaven and earth
Namtar, Namtaru - a demon personifying death; messenger of the underworld goddess Ereshkigal bringing death to mankind
Nanna - god of the Moon; counterpart of the Akkadian Sin
Ninhursag, Ninkharsag, Ninkhursag - the great mother goddess; worshipped also as Aruru and Mama and Nintu
Ninib, Ninurta - a solar deity; firstborn of Bel and consort was Gula; god of war and the chase and agriculture; sometimes identified with biblical Nimrod
Utu, Utug - sun god; counterpart of Akkadian Shamash
Zu, Zubird - evil storm god represented as a black bird
Enkidu - legendary friend of Gilgamish
Gilgamish - legendary Sumerian king and hero of Sumerian and Babylonian epics
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Zuism website makes their intentions pretty clear, and while it does state that the "religious organization of Zuism is a platform for its members to practise a religion of the ancient Sumerian people", it goes on to talk about one of life's two certainties: taxes.
Mentioned in the Old Testament--and believed by many to be the home of the Prophet Abraham--it also features in the works of Arab historians and geographers where its name is Qamirnah, The City of the Moon.Founded in about 4,000 BC, its Sumerian people established the principles of irrigation, developed agriculture and metal-working.
The Sumerian people were so obsessed with their moon god, Nanna, they made him chief deity around 3000 BC.