Tower of Babel

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(ˈbeɪ bəl, ˈbæb əl)

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.


(ˈbæb əl)

Isaak Emmanuilovich, 1894–1941, Russian author.
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.Tower of Babel - (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heavenTower of Babel - (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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The Utmost for the Highest, as the people said when they built the Tower of Babel. But the builders of the Tower of Babel were quite modest and domestic people, like mice, compared with old Aladdin.
like the Tower of Babel? It is full of unruly members.
The voices of its children are like the voices from the tower of Babel. If their strong man should arise, then the fight will be the fiercest the world has ever known.
He also began to build the famous Tower of Babel, but circumstances over which he had no control put it out of his power to finish it.
This stone was thrown at the sainted Stephen, and the other two are from the Tower of Babel. Here, too, is part of Aaron's rod, and a lock of hair from Elisha the prophet."
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.
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.
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.
The theme of independence and control ripples out to Gustad's surrounding environment which includes eccentric inhabitants of his apartment, the Khodadad Building, an extraordinary location that likens itself to a somewhat rundown Victorian Tower of Babel, and the wall outside which had become a public urinal and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Critics worry that the reseeding of the Earth with a laboratory-conceived second Genesis could lead to a far different future -- a biological Tower of Babel and the spread of chaos throughout the biological world, drowning out the ancient language of creation.
In the third chapter, "The 'Word of God' and the Languages of Man," Bono turns to the increasingly sophisticated theories of language generated during the Renaissance, and analyzes such "master cultural narratives" as those found in the biblical episodes of Adam's naming of the creatures in the Garden of Eden and of the destruction of the Tower of Babel.
This is a pity, but it is probably inevitable that the Tower of Babel has an effect even in scholarly circles!