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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·belalso Ba·bel (băb′əl, bā′bəl)
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).
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. (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]
(Biography) Issak Emmanuilovich (iˈsak imənuˈiləvitʃ) 1894–1941, Russian short-story writer, whose works include Stories from Odessa (1924) and Red Cavalry (1926)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Ba•bel(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.
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.
Babela 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.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||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
|2.||babel - 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"
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